The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Police Blotter

Mice, malodor and more

Mysterious Murray mice

At around 11:34 a.m. on Feb. 19, an officer was dispatched to Murray Hall for an animal in custody case. The Communications Center told the officer to meet with the hall director and complainant.

The officer entered the first floor of the building, where they informed them that a resident assistant discovered two mice in the basement on the evening of Feb. 16. The mice were found inside an enclosed keeper, but were not registered to any residents of Murray Hall.

The Communications Center sent an animal controller to the officer’s location, where they later met and gave the mice to them.

Stench in Towers

At around 1:25 a.m. on Feb. 22, an officer was dispatched to help the fire department in Towers Hall. They were informed by the Communications Center that a front desk employee reported an odor similar to rotten eggs near the southern outdoor area of Towers South.

The officer did not pick up on the odor while first walking around the area, so they went to speak with the front desk employees. The workers informed the officer that a student had reported the smell around 1:20 a.m. and emergency services were called.

Firefighters later arrived, carrying natural gas detectors. The officer joined them on the first floor where the smell had been reported. Now the officer recognized the odor of rotten eggs, but the natural gas detectors did not pick up on anything of concern.

The officer then called the complainant, who informed them that he and his friends had smelled the odor while walking home from McPhee Physical Education Center at around 10:00 p.m. the night before. 

The complainant continued to his room that night but returned at around 1:00 a.m. to check the area again, finding that the smell was still there. He notified the front desk, informing them that he only smelled the odor in that specific section of the building.

After thanking the complainant, the officer returned to Towers South to meet with the firefighters. They informed the officer that no presence of natural gas was detected nor was there an odor of rotten eggs on any other floors, including the basement.

Another student had reported an odor of rotten eggs around 12:00 a.m. in the north part of Towers’ lobby, so the firefighters informed the officer that they would continue around the exterior of the building and notify them if the detectors picked up on anything.

The officer informed the front desk of the firefighters’ observations, advising that if the odor became any stronger they should call emergency services.

Water Street speedsters

On Feb. 24, an officer was parked in a fully marked squad car within the 200 block of Water Street, supervising a radar patrol on vehicles traveling west. The speed limit on Water Street is 25 mph.

At around 8:05 a.m., the officer noticed an SUV headed towards their location, traveling west at an estimated speed of 45 mph. Once the radar was active, the officer locked in their speed at 48 mph.

After the officer turned on their emergency lights and conducted a traffic stop, they had an in-person conversation with the driver of the vehicle. The officer first introduced themselves and explained why the driver was being stopped.

The driver of the vehicle, identified by their Wisconsin driver’s license, apologized for the speeding violation, explaining that they were trying to get to their destination quickly because of a crying child in the backseat. The driver rolled down the rear windows for the officer.

When the officer observed the two children in the backseat, however, neither appeared to be crying at that time.

The officer went back to their squad car to check the driver’s record, finding that they were not on probation, and both the driver and the vehicle were valid to drive.

Since the driver violated the speed limit, the officer completed a Wisconsin Traffic Citation, which has a non-mandatory court date. The bond amount was $225.70, and 6 points were assessed.

Lastly, the officer issued the citation to the driver, answering any questions they had before completing the traffic stop.

Problem in Putnam Park

At around 12:18 p.m. on Feb. 26, an officer was in Putnam Park helping locate a supposed unhoused person encampment. The description took place in the park behind Sutherland Hall, where there was a section of trees with clothes hanging on them.

Shortly after finding the location that matched the description, the officer found an addressed envelope on the ground nearby. They used the primary squad cell phone to take a photo of the envelope.

The officer also discovered a brown and orange glass pipe with burned residue on it. They took photos of the glass pipe as well before possessing it and clearing the scene.

Using the primary squad cell phone, the officer attempted to contact the phone number associated with the address on the envelope after returning to the department, but the number was no longer in service. 

The officer placed the envelope and the glass pipe into evidence, packaging and sealing the items separately. Both were placed in a locker and secured.

Matczak can be reached at [email protected].

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