Marquette Wire

MUPD responds to alleged sexual assault, video shows officer threatening to tase

The+Marquette+University+Police+Department+responded+to+an+incident+at+19th+and+Kilbourn+Streets+Saturday+morning+at+about+1+a.m.+Screenshot+from+provided+video+by+Nick+Revier
The Marquette University Police Department responded to an incident at 19th and Kilbourn Streets Saturday morning at about 1 a.m. Screenshot from provided video by Nick Revier

The Marquette University Police Department responded to an incident at 19th and Kilbourn Streets Saturday morning at about 1 a.m. Screenshot from provided video by Nick Revier

The Marquette University Police Department responded to an incident at 19th and Kilbourn Streets Saturday morning at about 1 a.m. Screenshot from provided video by Nick Revier

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The Marquette University Police Department responded to an alleged sexual assault at a house on 19th and Kilbourn Streets at about midnight Friday night, said university spokesman Brian Dorrington.

A suspect was taken into custody, and MUPD Captain Jeff Kranz confirmed that MUPD Detective Luke Wagner will be presenting their case to the Milwaukee District Attorney today and is recommending that the DA presses charges.

Before officers arrived, a fight unrelated to the alleged sexual assault broke out between two males.

The police were unaware of the fight taking place when they arrived on the scene, and having to diffuse the fight further complicated the entire situation, Kranz said.

A video obtained by the Wire from eyewitness Nick Revier, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, shows police verbally threatening a male inside the house by saying “put your hands behind your back, put your other hand behind your back, you’re gonna (sic) get tased.”

Upon entering the house, an MUPD officer broke up the fight using trained techniques to gain compliance and detained one student, after one of the students involved refused to listen, Dorrington said.

MUPD obtained tasers in the spring of 2016, and has deployed them less than five times since then, Kranz said. “They work as a de-escalation tool, and have been incredibly effective in controlling situations,” he said.

The male in the video confirmed the police threatened him with the taser and so he complied. He wishes to remain anonymous.

“There were lots of challenges to the situation, including the size of the crowd and the fight,” Kranz said. “Given all of that, (the responding officers) did a good job controlling the situation and investigating the sexual assault.”

Others in attendance attributed much of the chaos to their lack of knowledge at first about why the police were present.

“(MUPD) came in the house and blocked everyone in … MUPD proceeded to tell us there was a crime committed in the house we were at. They told us no one was going to leave the property without getting their identification taken,” said Matthew Savidge, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration. “I overheard (from police) that the authorities were looking for a white male who allegedly raped a girl in the upstairs bathroom.”

People were trying to leave the party at that point because many assumed the cops were there to break up the  fight or the party, Revier said.

“Later on it became clear (police) were there because of the alleged sexual assault … which is more understandable why they would have been using force to detain people,” Revier said. “But people trying to leave didn’t know that and didn’t want to get in trouble … for being around the fight or at the party.”

Any student cited in this incident will go through the University’s Student Conduct Board. Student outcomes that result from the conduct board, which are confidential, range from warnings to suspension to expulsion.

Revier said at the same time as he was filming the incident, outside the house, a separate student began fighting an officer, and after continued resistance, the student was taken into custody. Revier said the male was “body-slammed onto the cement in front of the house,” but that the male was actively resisting the police trying to detain him.

Dorrington also confirmed tasers were taken out for both incidents to “help gain compliance without using force,” but it was never used.

During the fight inside the Kilbourn home, Revier said he witnessed a man who appeared to be older than a college student dressed in street clothes, who looked like an undercover cop.

“He had a necklace underneath his shirt and when the fight broke out he pulled it out,” Revier said. “It was a badge and he was like, ‘police,’ and he, like, freaked out, and someone ran behind him.”

Later Kranz confirmed there was an officer in plain clothes, but that was because he was not a patrol officer, rather a detective responding to the scene because of the nature of the alleged incident they were called in for.

Officers were given a description of the alleged assailant as a white male. Kranz said the description given by the alleged female victim was exact enough that they were able to eliminate certain groups of people, but that MUPD took down the names and ID numbers of all in attendance before they could leave.

Kristina Sullivan, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said it took nearly an hour for them to release white males from the house.

“They checked everyone’s Marquette ID numbers and took down names, then let all the girls and male minorities out … and then every white male at the party was trapped,” she said.

Savidge said after they had cleared out the women and minorities, it took another hour for the cops to talk to approximately 40 white males, letting them out of the house one by one.

The sexual assault victim was taken to a local hospital for care and treatment. A Division of Student Affairs victim advocate was with the student in the hospital, along with an MUPD officer.

This is an ongoing MUPD investigation, and the Milwaukee Police Department confirmed they received no calls regarding the incident.

Dorrington said that, through their actions that night and investigation, officers were able to locate a suspect who was taken into custody.

“The officers did very good work… The suspect was transported to the criminal justice facility,” Kranz said.

For updates on the MUPD investigation and decision of the DA, follow along on marquettewire.org.

 

Rebecca Carballo, Aly Prouty, Morgan Hughes and Patrick Thomas all contributed to this report.

This report was updated Sept. 25 at 6:43 p.m.

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “MUPD responds to alleged sexual assault, video shows officer threatening to tase”

  1. B on September 23rd, 2017 12:58 pm

    Ahhh DPS abusing their power cause the state gave them policing powers…. MPD was never notified?? Probably cause the rent a cops abused their power. MU should be ashamed

  2. C on September 26th, 2017 8:41 pm

    Abusing their power by arresting potential rapists?

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