The following information was obtained from UW-Eau Claire Police Department records.
Sleepy in the Streets
At 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 7, a campus officer was performing active patrol along the Water Street Bridge when she noticed a subject wearing a hooded sweatshirt slouched against the wall near the scenic overlook area adjacent to the bridge.
The officer determined the individual to be asleep as he had his eyes closed and mouth open. She pulled her squad car next to the subject, who did not move or seem to notice her. The officer exited her squad car and attempted to wake the subject by shaking his shoulder.
The officer announced her presence as a police officer and the male subject opened his eyes. The officer could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from the subject. He was later identified to be of legal drinking age.
The subject stated he was not a UW-Eau Claire student and was visiting from out of town. He told the officer he was staying with friends near 2nd Avenue and Frederic Street. The officer told him that was impossible, as the two roads do not intersect.
The subject then pointed to campus and stated he had to cross the bridge “to get home.” The officer observed the subject, who continued to point at the Garfield Avenue hill, to be very intoxicated. The officer told the subject this was untrue if he was indeed staying on Frederic Street.
Again, the subject insisted he knew how to get to his friend’s house but was unable to provide the officer with an address. The officer noticed the subject seemed to be confused about both where he was going and where he had traveled from.
The officer requested the subject call one of the people he was staying with. He was able to reach a friend, who provided him with an address which was on neither of the aforementioned streets.
The subject requested the officer contact a cab service to take him to the address. Upon the cab’s arrival, the officer advised the driver of the subject’s destination. Once the car pulled away, the officer cleared the scene.
At 11:54 p.m. on Oct. 2, a campus officer was conducting stationary patrol facing University Drive when she watched three males walk on the path behind McPhee towards Simpson Field before stopping at a green storage shed.
She watched as two males shone their flashlights for the other male, who appeared to be manipulating something in his hands. The flashlights were then turned off and the officer observed numerous lighter flickers.
Based on prior training and experience, the officer determined the situation to be consistent with drug use. Two other officers then arrived to assist.
As the first officer walked along the walking path behind the storage shed she could smell burnt marijuana in the air. The officer then made contact with the individuals and announced herself as “police.” A second officer approached the group from another area and also made contact. The first officer then instructed the individuals to show her their hands. As they did so the she noticed subject # 1 placing something in his backpack as he set it on the ground.
At first the group denied drug use after being asked if they were smoking marijuana behind the shed. After two of the officers told the subjects they had watched them smoking from a distance the group admitted to smoking marijuana.
The second officer asked subject #1 if there was marijuana in his backpack. He stated there was. The officer asked the subject if he consented to the backpack being searched, and he said yes. The officer located various items, including a plastic baggy with green, leafy material inside; two metal grinders; a bong made with a soda bottle; and various other drug paraphernalia.
After walking to the squad cars, each individual consented to a search of their person and belongings. Several other items of interest were located.
Subject #1 told the officers he had previously been cited for possession of marijuana in Minnesota. The other two subjects said they had never before been in contact with police regarding drug use.
After conducting records checks on each of the individuals, the officers determined all three to be without warrants and not on probation.
The first officer issued subject #1 a citation for the possession of marijuana with a bond amount of $389.50 and a citation for the possession of drug paraphernalia with a bond amount of $326.50. Both citations came with a non-mandatory court date. The second officer explained the Eau Claire County Diversion Program to the other two subjects, who agreed to participate in the program and signed diversion agreement forms.
Because subject #1 had a previous drug citation, he was not eligible for diversion.
The officers then explained the citations and diversion program requirements to the respective subjects and answered their questions. After finishing, the officers released the subjects.
The officers then cleared the scene and left to process and place the confiscated items into a property/evidence locker.
Kopke can be reached at [email protected]