Police Blotter

Drugs, alcohol and politics


Photo by Submitted

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

Polling problems

An officer was contacted by a worker from the Chancellor’s Office on Tuesday, April 2 at 3:45 p.m. because the anti-abortion group, Students for Life, had set up informational booths at the northeast corner entrance to Davies Center.

Officer 1 was told Davies Center was being used as a polling place to vote in the statewide Spring 2019 election. The worker said she had been made aware of complaints regarding this group violating election laws.

These complaints had originally been lodged with the elections board at the City of Eau Claire. The elections board then contacted the elections commission for the State of Wisconsin. The elections commission concluded that Students for Life was engaged in “electioneering.”

Electioneering includes any activity intended to influence voting at an election. The Students for Life group was violating a statute regarding this.

The statute states no person may engage in electioneering during polling hours on any public property on election days within 100 feet of an entrance to a building containing a polling place.

The Chancellor’s Office worker and the Dean of Students stated that Students for Life intended to leave the area at 4 p.m. and requested that Officer 1 respond to the area to speak with the group to have them move their informational booths 100 feet away from an entrance, or stop distributing materials altogether.

Upon receiving this information, officer 1 responded to Davies with officer 2. They arrived at the northeast entrance to Davies and observed Students for Life.

Officer 1 identified a male subject who was part of Students for Life as the individual who had organized the booths. Officer 1 explained to the subject how he had been requested to speak with Students for Life to inform them they needed to move their booths 100 feet away from the entrance to the building.

Officer 1 told the subject the group was in violation of election laws. The subject was reportedly questioning but cooperative during this time.

Officer 1 answered the subject’s questions regarding the electioneering law violation and what would happen if he did not comply and identify himself to Officer 1.

Officer 1 explained to the subject that it was about 3:53 p.m. and his group needed to move their booths or pack up.

Officer 1 told the subject he could measure out where 100 feet from the entrance of Davies would be if he decided to move the informational booths, and showed the subject a 100 foot tape measure.

The subject stated that would not be necessary and agreed to pack up the booths. Officer 2 stood by with the Students for Life group as they packed up their items.

Officer 1 then spoke with the Chancellor’s Office worker and the Dean of Students, along with the Affirmative Action Officer of UW-Eau Claire.

He updated them on his contact with the subject and explained how the group had agreed to pack up and leave from the area instead of moving 100 feet away from the entrance.

The officers remained on scene until the Students for Life items were completely packed up, then cleared the scene.

Caught green-handed

An officer was conducting a foot patrol on Sunday, April 7, at 12:37 p.m. along the upper athletic trail at Simpson Field when the officer saw what appeared to be two male subjects smoking a joint.

The two were passing it back and forth between them, and the officer observed the subjects take at least two hits each.

The officer then conducted a foot patrol on the lower trail to the location where the subjects were at. While walking the lower trail, the officer detected a strong scent of marijuana.

As the officer approached the two subjects, they began to walk in the opposite direction. The officer caught up to them and verbally directed them to stop. Both complied and walked to the officer’s location.

The officer explained what he had observed to the subjects, and then said he had smelt marijuana. Both subjects initially denied smoking anything or using marijuana.

The officer again explained what he had observed, and both subjects then admitted they had smoked marijuana from a joint.

Both subjects admitted to taking multiple hits from the joint, and subject 1 said he had thrown the joint onto the hillside after it had been used up.

The officer conducted a pat down of the subjects for weapons, which neither subject appeared to have on their person.

The officer asked the subjects if they had any illegal items on them, to which they responded negatively.

Subject 1 voluntarily removed a metal mint tin from his pocket and showed it to the officer. The tin did not contain illegal items.

The subjects and officer then returned to the area where the subjects had been standing prior to the officer’s contact with them to look for the joint, which they were unable to find.

The officer then escorted the subjects to McPhee Center and entered the building, as it was raining at the time. The officer conducted a records check on them and found they had no prior drug contacts.

The officer explained the different levels of enforcement for possession or use of marijuana, or possession of drug paraphernalia, to the subjects. The subjects were verbally warned for their marijuana use.

After answering the subjects’ questions and advising the two to dispose of any illegal items that they may possess in their rooms and ceasing illegal activity, the officer cleared the area.

Tipsy on the turf

An officer was contacted by student patrol on Sunday, April 7, at 12:34 a.m. to report a female subject was lying in the grass in front of the Human Sciences and Services building on 200 Water Street.

Officer 1 arrived on scene and located a male subject and a female subject standing up and holding each other. It appeared that the male subject was holding up the female subject.

Female subject 1 appeared to be very intoxicated and was having a difficult time standing. Officer 1 could smell a strong odor of intoxicating beverages coming from the two subjects.

A third female subject was also present. She told the officer she saw Subject 1 laying in the grass and stopped to check on her. Officer 1 told Subject 3 she was free to leave, as she did not know the other two subjects and was not involved.

Two additional officers then arrived on the scene to assist. Officer 1 asked subject 1 if she was OK and if she had consumed too much alcohol. Subject 1 appeared to have a difficult time comprehending things and balancing, so Officer 1 directed Subject 1 to sit on the ground.

Subject 2 stated someone had called them an Uber to get home and they were waiting. Officer 1 addressed Subject 1 and asked her several basic questions; however, she was only able to answer about half of them accurately.

Officer 1 noted the Uber had arrived and left while Officer 1 was assessing Subject 1.

Officer 1 asked Subject 1 for her ID. Subject 2 began telling Subject 1 she did not have to identify herself. Officer 1 then told Subject 2 not to make the situation more difficult, as he was attempting to help assess Subject 1 to determine an appropriate outcome.

Subject 2 then handed Officer 1 both his and Subject 1’s ID. Neither subject had any wants, nor were they on probation.

A preliminary breath test on Subject 1 was performed after gaining permission, which revealed a PBT result of 0.20 off of a weak breath sample. Officer 1 asked Subject 1 if she wanted to go to the hospital for detox, to which she stated she did not.

Subject 2 said they did not have any cash for a cab ride home and told the officers their address. Officer 1 asked if the two would be able to walk home.

Subject 1 became uncooperative and stated she was going to stay where she was. She then began repeatedly stating “bye” to everyone present.

Officer 1 then asked Subject 2 to speak with Officer 2 away from Subject 1. Officer 1 then returned to his patrol car.

Subject 1 laid in the grass by herself for several minutes and realized everyone had left. Officer 1 then approached her and explained she either needed to walk home or she would be taken to the hospital for a detox.

Subject 1 then stood up and walked home with the assistance of Subject 2.

Spierings can be reached at [email protected]