Second student alleges drink tampering at Sobelman’s, MPD investigating

Sobleman's sits on the corner of Wells Street and 16th Street. Photo by Rebecca Rebholz/rebecca.rebhlz@Marquette.edu

Sobleman’s sits on the corner of Wells Street and 16th Street. Photo by Rebecca Rebholz/rebecca.rebhlz@Marquette.edu

A second student came forward last week claiming to have possibly had an unknown substance placed in her drink at Sobelman’s 1601 W. Wells St. location more than a year ago, which ultimately resulted in an alleged sexual assault.

The Department of Public Safety said in a public safety bulletin July 26 that the female student reported the alleged incident July 25, and DPS then reported it to the Milwaukee Police Department, which is currently investigating.

However, MPD told the Tribune the incident was originally reported to them in April of this year, and the investigation has been ongoing since then. The victim reportedly told MPD the incident took place between March 1 and April 30, 2012, and that she was on leave from Marquette at the time she filed the report.

Dave Sobelman, the owner and founder of Sobelman’s restaurants, said he did not find out about the second incident until DPS released the public safety bulletin last Friday, and the detective working on the case was not legally permitted to provide him many details. He said the detective did tell him that the investigation started last week, despite MPD claiming it was opened in April.

“I spoke with the detective (Monday),” Sobelman said. “I knew nothing of (the incident) until the email went out and people started tweeting. I put in a call to the big shots at Marquette, and they said they had to put that email out.”

The Tribune reported July 24 that a previous MPD investigation could not find any proof of another female student being drugged at the restaurant in a separate July 17 incident, which was reported to DPS July 19. The student in that case also alleged drink tampering but did not claim to be sexually assaulted.

Lt. Mark Stanmeyer, public information officer for MPD, said in an email that the investigation into the Spring 2012 case will not affect the other investigation.

Following the most recent incident, the restaurant suspended its Monday margarita drink special, noticing an increase of intoxicated students those days. Sobelman said the restaurant will not bring it back until after the current investigation is completed, if at all.

“I don’t want anything bad to happen to MU students, especially if they are drinking at my restaurant,” Sobelman said.

The Tribune will report more information as it becomes available.

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