Park Street: Fire
A popular Mexican restaurant on South Park Street caught fire early Monday morning.
Firefighters arrived at the scene of the fire at Taqueria Guadalajara around 7:15 a.m., Madison Fire Department spokesperson Lori Wirth said.
No one was injured in the blaze or in the building at the time of the fire, but the fire damaged the restaurant’s building, she said.
MFD took approximately 10 minutes to put out the fire and an additional 30 minutes to make sure the building was free of hot spots. She said fires often permeate the walls of buildings, which was the case in this particular fire.
She said when the firefighters opened up the walls and found fire inside, they attempted to extinguish it immediately.
“They make sure it doesn’t rekindle and spread to places you can’t see,” Wirth said.
She said they were unsure about how the fire was started, but said they hope to know the cause later in the year. She said firefighters spent time digging and looking through the remnants of the fire to find fire patterns and a potential origin of the fire.
The amount of damage done to the building is currently unknown, but there is no structural damage done to the building, Wirth said.
“A lot needs to be done on the inside to make it habitable and useful as a restaurant,” Wirth said.
She said all food in the restaurant had to be thrown away because it had been contaminated by the heat and smoke produced by the fire.
Wirth said the restaurant has been closed, but she said the owners are highly motivated to reopen the restaurant as soon as possible. She said there is no official timeline for reopening the restaurant, but the restaurant is insured.
Henry and Langdon Street: Robbery
An unidentified female suspect mugged a 19-year-old Madison resident on the corner of Henry Street and Langdon Street Saturday night.
The suspect allegedly tackled the victim, punched her in the head, grabbed the victim’s phone and ran away, according to a Madison Police Department statement. The victim and her friends chased down the suspect and were able to retrieve the phone from the robber by throwing money at her, the statement said.
Police were called a half hour after the incident occurred, the statement said. MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain said no arrests have been made yet. He said the robber may have been acting on encouragement she received from three young men she was with before she stole the phone.
“A witness had heard that one of the young men had made a remark about a dare,” DeSpain said.
State Street: Arrested Person
Police arrested a 27-year-old Madison man Saturday morning after he sprayed mace into the eyes of a 21-year-old woman leaving a bar.
The man used a squirt gun to spray the woman with mace, or a similar substance, according to a MPD statement. The victim used snow to remove the substance from her face.
According to the statement, she told a MPD officer it felt like her face “was on fire.”
The suspect was located sleeping in a nearby doorway. They also found an extendable police-like baton on the suspect, the statement said.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, called the incident a “senseless act.”
“It’s extremely bizarre, even by State Street standards,” he said.
Langdon Street: Burglary
A robber entered an unlocked apartment on the 200 block of Langdon Street Saturday night and stole a backpack containing two laptops, a phone and wallet, according to a MPD statement.
A 22-year-old resident of the apartment walked out of her bathroom to find the man in her apartment. The statement said when she screamed, he ran away with both her and her roommate’s possessions.
The statement said many burglaries downtown have occurred after residents have left their doors unlocked.
The statement described the suspect as a black man in his late teens, clean-shaven and wearing diamond-style earrings and a black hooded sweatshirt.
State Street: Robbery
Two male suspects stole a purse from a 34-year-old female at Whiskey Jacks Saloon early Saturday morning.
The woman put down her purse and left it unattended while she talked with her friends, the statement said. When she realized her purse had been stolen, the bar’s staff reviewed surveillance tapes and identified the two suspects, according to the statement.
One was still in the bar and the other was leaving the bar, the statement said. The man leaving the bar had the woman’s money, credit cards and phone, the statement said. The victim’s purse was found inside the bar.
MPD tracked down the suspects and retrieved the female victim’s possessions, according to the statement.
“The staff at Whiskey was totally on the ball and worked quickly to identify suspects and aid police in catching them and returning her property,” Verveer said. “I’m gratified to see the staff went the extra mile to apprehend the suspects and help the victim.”