Police Blotter

UW-Eau Claire Police witnessed two unrelated unconscious men near Chippewa River

McKenna Dirks

More stories from McKenna Dirks

3rd and Vine
April 5, 2022

Unconscious by the river

In the last month of spring semester, the UW-Eau Claire Police Department has had their hands tied with many obscure cases, despite almost no students remaining on campus due to COVID-19. 

Last week, an officer was approached by an anonymous female who said there was a person laying down by the river bank in between the Haas Fine Arts and Human Sciences and Services buildings. 

The officer entered the area on foot and found an unconscious male subject laying on his back about two feet away from the water’s edge. 

The officer observed a 1.72 liter bottle of Blue Ox vodka on the shoreline, which was almost empty. They also observed various prescription pills scattered around the male. 

The officer identified the subject as a homeless man they knew from prior law enforcement contacts.

The officer verbally announced their presence as a police officer, to which the male did not respond. The officer then began shaking his shoulder, but he still did not respond. The officer observed the male to be steadily breathing. 

The officer applied a pain stimulus by utilizing a sternum rub in an attempt to wake him up. The male opened his eyes for a few seconds and grunted, but then closed his eyes again and continued to be unresponsive. 

Medics arrived on scene and began to assess the male, who was not responding to them either. 

The officer located various prescription bottles in his backpack that listed his name. 

The male was then placed on a stretcher and was still not conscious when placed into an ambulance. 

The communication center said the male was revoked to drive and on parole due to an operating while intoxicated offense. 

The male was then transported to Sacred Heart Hospital.

No further information was given. 

Unconscious by the river part two

An officer was dispatched to Putnam Park regarding a person who came across a male subject laying on the ground near Putnam Park Prairie. The communication center said the male subject was moving but would not respond to the person’s questions. 

While on the way to Putnam Park, the male subject had gotten up from the ground and told the person he was okay and that he had been resting. 

Upon arrival, the officer made contact with the male, who was wearing light colored jeans, a light colored jacket and lime green headphones. The male was about 50 to 55 years old. 

After speaking with the person who came across the male, the officer began walking north from Putnam Park Prairie toward the last known location of the male. The officer then spotted a male who matched the description. 

The officer made contact with the male who identified himself. He said he was “simply resting” while enjoying the park. The officer noticed he was swaying and had slurred speech. 

The officer asked if the male had consumed any alcoholic beverages, to which he said he had a couple of beers. 

The officer conducted a records check through the communication center and found the male currently held a revoked Wisconsin driver’s license and was a felony offender with no wants and was not on probation. 

The officer answered any questions the male had and left the scene. 

Dirks can be reached at [email protected].