Police Blotter

Skateboards and scrapes — campus officers handle traffic incidents

Lea Kopke

More stories from Lea Kopke


Photo by Submitted

The following information was obtained from UW-Eau Claire Police Department records.

Consequences of “kickflips”

At 7:16 p.m. on Sept. 28, an officer was headed eastbound on 800 University Drive when he observed a male subject riding a skateboard along the sidewalk. The subject attempted to do a “kickflip” off of the sidewalk and into the roadway. When doing so, the subject disrupted the flow of vehicular traffic, causing a car to slam on its breaks.

The officer parked and approached the subject, who was with a group of people. As he was walking, a second subject rode his skateboard toward the officer and performed a trick beside him.

The officer explained to the subjects that there is an ordinance prohibiting skateboarding and skateboard tricks in public places. Several members of the group were argumentative, and stated they had seen others using skateboards in the area. The officer explained that skateboards could be used for travel, but tricks — especially those that could potentially disrupt the flow of traffic or cause damage — were prohibited.

While the officer was speaking to the group, he noticed the odor of alcoholic beverages emanating from the subjects. He determined that the odor was coming from the second subject. The officer had the subject walk to his patrol car. He inquired about how much alcohol the subject had consumed. The subject stated he had two shots earlier in the night, at a friend’s dorm.

The officer had the subject submit to a preliminary breath test, which gave a 0.081 blood-alcohol level result. A records check indicated the subject did not have any prior underage drinking tickets.

The officer issued the subject a citation for an underage alcohol offense, with a bond amount of $263.50, and provided him with a first offenders brochure. He explained the documents and answered the subject’s questions.

The group was then warned that further performance of skateboard tricks could result in a citation. After a records check confirmed the rest of the group was without warrants, the officer allowed all to leave the scene.

Tickets and Toyotas

At 10 a.m. on Sept. 24, an officer was dispatched to a hit and run in the Schneider parking lot. He arrived at the location and met with the witness who had called in the incident. He showed the officer a silver Toyota with damage to its rear driver’s side bumper. The bumper had a paint transfer on it, which was very apparent.

The witness stated he had observed a vehicle strike another vehicle, and then leave the scene. He had seen a tan Toyota SUV “whipping in a little fast” to a parking spot and strike another vehicle. The operator of the vehicle sat in her car for about five minutes before exiting to check the damage to the vehicle she had struck. The witness stated that the operator then got back into her car and left the area.

The witness explained the appearance of the female operator to the officer. He stated that she seemed to be alone. The witness agreed to fill out a written statement, and then the officer thanked him for taking the time to report the hit and run.

The officer then left his business card on the silver Toyota with a note explaining that the car had been damaged and that the owner should contact him.

Upon checking both the registration of the vehicle and UW-Eau Claire’s student database, the officer was able to find the operator of the silver Toyota’s phone number. After getting in contact, the officer received the student’s insurance information and assured her that he would get in contact once he had spoken to the offender.

At 12:42 p.m. the officer received a call from the offending subject. He identified himself and explained that he was calling her because of a car she hit in Schneider parking lot. The officer asked her how much damage there was to her car, to which she responded “not very much.”

The officer then spoke with the subject about not calling the police or leaving a note on the car after striking it. The subject stated she had checked the other vehicle for damage, but saw none. The officer explained to her that the damage was very apparent. The subject then agreed to meet the officer at the police station. At this point the officer advised her that she would be issued a citation for hit and run.

On Sept. 25 the offender came to the UW-Eau Claire police department to speak about the hit and run. The subject again stated that she was unaware of the damage to the other car. After being asked a series of questions, the officer was told that the subject was tired that day, and stressed about finding a parking stall. She was aware that she hit a car when pulling into the parking spot, but had not seen any damage. The subject drove away because she realized the parking meter had a 20 minute limit.

The officer showed a picture of the damaged car to the subject, who acknowledged the damage was noticeable and that she must have missed it because she was so tired.

The officer then went outside to see the damage to the offender’s vehicle. The officer issued a citation to her for Hit and Run Unattended Vehicle and obtained the offender’s insurance information. The officer then cleared her.

Kopke can be reached at [email protected]