Police arrested two suspects after a battery incident occurred among residents taking shelter in the City County building Thursday evening.
The first suspect, Manuel Rocha, was arrested for substantial battery after assaulting two other men who were sleeping in the building with a “wet floor” sign, a police report said.
The incident report said the first victim tried to get up and defend himself against Rocha but was unable to do so successfully.
Rocha then targeted another man in the building, Ezekiel Golden Jr., but Golden defended himself and pushed Rocha to the floor, according to the report said.
Madison police spokesperson Joel DeSpain said Golden’s actions went beyond self defense and he allegedly attacked Rocha back, so police arrested him for disorderly conduct.
“The investigating officer felt the second victim responded with more force than necessary and continued to be forceful towards the suspect even after the situation was over,” DeSpain said. “While he may have been acting in self defense to push him away, he continued to act out and aggress upon the suspect.”
DeSpain said police often interact with homeless people taking shelter at the City County building, some of which seem to have alcohol issues. The incident report said Rocha’s blood alcohol content was .35 at the time of his arrest.
Police have been actively responding to disturbances caused by homeless people who sleep in the building during the colder months, DeSpain said. He added many of them have used the building to keep warm and caused no problems at all.
DeSpain said there were no serious injuries resulting from the incident.