Police arrested a man for battery early Sunday morning on the 400 block of West Gilman Street after he punched a stranger.
Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain said the violence occurred after an argument broke out between two intoxicated strangers.
According to a MPD statement, the argument led Kresten Fowler to punch the male victim and cause injury.
DeSpain said after Fowler punched the victim, the victim’s friend pulled out a knife. The friend, who also had been drinking, did not attack anyone with the knife, he said. The friend cut his thumb open as he put the knife back in his pocket, which required him to go to the hospital and receive stitches, DeSpain said.
Officers made the scene safe after learning a knife was involved in the investigation, according to the statement.
The Guardian Angels, a nationwide organization of volunteers who help prevent crime in communities, helped break up the fight and alerted MPD of the situation, DeSpain said.
MPD presented the Guardian Angels with an award a few years ago for assisting in the State Street area, according to DeSpain.
“The Guardian Angels intervene where there might be problems, stop situations from getting out of hand, break up fights and keep suspects on the scene until police arrive,” DeSpain said.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said this is just the latest example of the Guardian Angels coming to the assistance of citizens.
MPD and the Guardian Angels have been working together for many years now, Verveer said. The Guardian Angels are a group that originated in New York decades ago, he added.
“The Guardian Angels work collaboratively and cooperatively with Madison police,” Verveer said. “The police can’t be everywhere.”
Verveer said the stretch of West Gilman Street between State Street and University Avenue has been “plagued” with violent incidents in the recent past.
He said this is largely due to the several taverns that are located in the area. He said no specific establishment is the cause of the problems, but rather the problems come from the concentration of taverns and the number of people there during bar time.
Verveer added the area also does not receive as much attention from the police. The street has newly-added pedestrian lighting, but is still dark compared to adjacent streets, he said.