Police Blotter

UW-Eau Claire Campus Police dealt with a circus this past week


Photo by Submitted

Story by Anne Sandell, Chief Copy Editor

Quit clowning around

Last Wednesday, campus police dealt with a report of a clown scaring residents on the McPhee steps.

At 9:39 p.m. on Oct. 5, an officer was contacted referencing a check person. The officer was advised that a hall resident had just come into contact with a clown on the back stairs of McPhee.

The encounter was so shocking it caused the victim to experience a panic attack.

Campus police asked the resident assistant who reported the incident if the clown had become physically violent or verbally aggressive towards the victim. The RA stated the clown had not and the victim was back in the hall, safe and did not need medical attention.

After speaking with the complainant, the officer responded to the top of the McPhee stairs and spoke to a group of individuals who were walking towards the stairs from McPhee. The group stated they just came from the building and had not observed any clowns near the staircase.

The officer checked the area and did not observe any clowns.

The officer then responded to the bottom of the stairs and began walking up them. Near the second landing the officer observed a pair of blue Dickie’s coveralls.

After collecting the coveralls, the officer then spoke with a group of male subjects dressed in exercise clothes carrying backpacks, walking down the stairs.

They stated they were just leaving from the rock climbing wall in McPhee. They offered to let the officer search their backpacks to confirm this, but the officer stated it would not be necessary.

The officer spoke of the clown occurrences with the individuals and they confirmed they were aware of the national trend.

One male subject stated when they were at the top of the stairs he heard some giggling but that he did not observe any clowns.

Campus police then met with the victim and the RA. In discussing the incident, the victim stated she was going up the McPhee stairs and was talking on the phone. When she was on the seventh step, she looked up and saw a male subject walking down the stairs at her.

According to the report, she thought the male subject was wearing a red baseball hat at first, as she was not wearing her glasses at the time.

Soon, the victim realized the subject was wearing a red wig, polka dot shirt and a big red clown nose. The male stopped in his tracks, tilted his head and stared at her.

The victim told police this immediately shocked her and she began running away, screaming. She stated she was not sure if the clown followed her, but she did not think so.

Campus police advised the victim that they would continue to check the area and provided her with her business card, asking the victim to call if she remembered anything else.

The officer placed the collected Dickies coveralls, with a SAVERS tag still attached that read “6.99” and “Men’s Halloween,” into evidence.


Send in the clowns

Following the initial report of clowns last Wednesday, officers were dispatched to a second call referencing clown activity at the McPhee stairs.

According to the report, at 9:45 p.m. on Oct. 5, an officer was dispatched to the McPhee stairs leading to 800 Putnam Dr. After clearing the scene with previous victim, the officer spoke to another RA who stated he heard about clowns scaring a resident and walked over to the McPhee stairs to confront them.

The RA advised he had observed three clowns; two male and one female clown.

The first male clown was described as having a blue top and blue pants. The second male clown was reported wearing a dark windbreaker and a red wig. The female clown was wearing all white.

When the RA approached the clowns, he told campus police he began yelling at the female clown. The female clown did not say anything, according to the RA, and took off into the woods.

The RA stated he then observed one of the male clowns crawling underneath the McPhee stairs and jumped into the clowns path and began yelling at him. According to the RA, the clown laughed at him in a “clown fashion.” The clown then responded “that was really cute.”

The RA advised the clown to leave and the other two clowns began running up the stairs. According to the report, the RA then walked back to the hall to call the police.

On his way home, the RA told police he heard trees rustling and thought the clowns might have returned.

Campus police advised the RA they had checked the area and had not located anything except for a pair of coveralls and that it is very likely the clown he described as wearing a blue top and pants, was wearing these coveralls.

The officer spoke to the RA about the clown occurrences and advised him to call if he observed clowns in the area. The RA asked about the consequences for the clowns and the officer advised him that, unless assaulting or threatening behavior was performed by the clowns, there was not much for consequences except for requesting the clowns to leave the area.

Police advised the RA that if contact was made between the clowns and police, that campus police would explain to them the impact they had on the residents.

The RA thanked the officer for their help and the officer cleared the scene.


Just horsing around

Campus police dealt with a strange found property case involving a battery operated pony last Tuesday.

At 11:31 p.m. on Oct. 4 campus police were performing active foot patrol along the north side of the footbridge when they were approached by a UW-Eau Claire campus ambassador.

The ambassador was holding a two and a half foot tall brown and white spotted horse.

He advised the officer he had located the horse on the footbridge, after being contacted by his friends. The ambassador stated the horse was “freaking people out.”

According to the report,  the ambassador explained he had located the horse on the bridge surrounded by grass and flowers. He stated at first he thought it was a dog standing still.

He told campus police he had taken it off the bridge because it was scaring people.

Campus police said they would take custody of it and put it into property in case someone came looking for their horse.

Upon further inspection of the hooved plush animal, the officer observed it had a battery cable attached to its underside. The horse appeared to be operated by batteries but had no batteries installed.

The officer transported the plush pony to the UW-Eau Claire bike storage as it would not fit in the property/evidence lockers.

Campus police also photographed the horse next to a campus police squad for size scale.

No further information on this case is available at this time.