MPD, UWPD, UW-Madison address University Avenue incidents
Aug. 1, 2012
The Madison Police Department, the University of Wisconsin Police Department and the Division of Student Life are seeking help from the community to address a string of violent incidents that have taken place on University Avenue in recent weeks.
Although the incidents appear to be unrelated, they center in the 500 and 600 blocks of University Avenue, close to State Street and campus, and have a common thread.
In recent months, large groups have been congregating in the area after 10 p.m. Officers report crowds have become disruptive and confrontational toward police.
The crowds are generally not believed to be made up of UW-Madison students, but some of the incidents have impacted pedestrians and others in the vicinity. In at least one of the incidents, a passerby was targeted.
The campus community is asked to be aware of the situation, exercise additional caution in the corridor, particularly late at night, says Dean of Students Lori Berquam. If you see suspicious activity, call 911.
“Take care of yourself and your friends when you’re out late at night in this area,” she says. “I appreciate MPD and UWPD's efforts to directly address these issues and create a safer environment for students and the community.”
To respond, MPD and UWPD have deployed additional resources in the area in an effort to reduce recent violent, disruptive and intimidating behavior. Officers will patrol on foot, on bicycle, on horse and in squad cars.
Several of the recent incidents include an unprovoked assault on a 21-year-old student on the 500 block of University Avenue Wednesday morning, the stabbing of a 35-year-old man in the 600 block of University Avenue on July 22 and a shooting incident in the 600 block of University Avenue in late May.
Anyone with information on any of these crimes is urged to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward.
Police say the incidents highlight a continued need for attention to personal safety. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to follow these safety guidelines:
- If you intend to drink, do so in moderation to avoid placing yourself in a position of increased risk.
- Do not resist a potential robbery. It is better to give up your belongings than be injured in a struggle.
- Carry a cell phone and dial 911 for help.
- Walk with a friend whenever possible.
- Take advantage of SAFE Nightime Services programs available on campus. Call 608-262-5000 for detailed information or visit http://transportation.wisc.edu/transportation/safeservices.aspx
- Be aware of places along your path of travel that could conceal a criminal (shrubbery, building recesses, etc.). Avoid or keep a distance from these areas whenever possible.
- Make sure someone knows when you leave and when to expect you back.
- If you think someone is following you, cross the street. Head for a well-populated and well-lit area at night.