Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Crime fizzles out in recent weeks

After a string of downtown assaults, robberies and purse thefts earlier in the semester, the city has remained free of high-profile crimes during the last few weeks.

Following a bumpy Halloween weekend, the night scene has not seen any serious incidents.

“Participation in crime peaks [and] valleys and goes up and down, the behavior changes,” Lt. Carl Strasburg, Madison Police Department, said. “Bar-time assaults happen, but that’s not uncommon with crime like that; they come and go.”


Strasburg said a decrease in more serious downtown crimes might be a coincidence or because of other reasons. Deciphering a decrease in crime over a short period of time can be difficult, he added.

He noted alcohol is always a major issue involved in campus and city crime.

Lt. Eric Holen, University of Wisconsin Police Department, said students still must be safe when out.

“Even though there may not have been a sensational amount of [recent] crimes … it’s easy for a student to think you don’t need to be so careful,” Holen said. “We don’t want students to be complacent about their safety.”

Holen said even though the early back-to-school rush is over, students must remember to protect themselves and their property.

Jane Goemans, a SAFE Nighttime Services Coordinator, said the number of SAFE walks have increased since the beginning of the semester.

“We have a much steadier rate of usage this semester than we’ve had in the past,” Goemans said. “Right now we’re being fairly consistent and having about three to five walks a night.”

Walks tend to decrease as the weather worsens, she added.

“I’m pleased with numbers we’ve been having with SAFEwalk and SAFEride. It took an amount of time for people to be aware and to be cautious,” Goemans said.

She attributed this increase to students planning ahead before going out, traveling in groups and being more cautious.

“I’m really pleased with the way the semester is going with the safe walkers. We’re getting a consistent clientele with consistent calls and regular walks,” Goemans said.

Goemans said students getting out of class late tend to use the program for a walk home or during the weekends late at night.

“I still want to think the campus is fairly safe,” Goemans said. “We’re available when someone has a need, so we can help prevent emergencies and unsafe situations.”

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said he has not heard of any gang-like attacks or other high-profile crimes in several weeks.

“Whether we got ahold of some arrests or the word got out about the extra policing, whatever the reason those group attacks hopefully have ended,” Verveer said.

What Went Down

Early Oct. 8, around 2:05 a.m., a 21-year-old female UW student was robbed on the 200 block of West Lakelawn Place, according to a Madison police release.

The victim was approached from behind as the suspect grabbed her around the neck and covered her mouth and demanded money, according to the release. The victim was able to give the suspect an undisclosed amount of money from her purse. She was released but told “not to look” while the suspect fled the scene. The victim received no injuries.

A string of strong-arm robbery, assault and battery occurred within the State Street area Sept. 17 and 18. In the majority of the cases between 12-15 members were responsible for the attacks. The gang-like attacks took place on less-populated residential streets including East Doty, State and North Bassett streets.

Two female UW students also were the victims of a robbery Saturday, Sept. 4, on the 600 block of North Henry Street and the 500 block of North Pinckney Street. Both women’s purses were stolen in the assault. They received minor injuries.

Jeffrey W. Scheidegger, 20, and Jeffrey M. Jalinski, 19, both of Madison, were charged with disorderly conduct as a hate crime and bail jumping on the night of Friday, Sept. 24, in the campus area. The men stood at the corner of North Park Street adjacent to the Memorial Union bus stop a little after midnight and confronted a young Asian couple and yelled at them to speak English.

The two men had their faces painted green and one was holding a gruesome looking plastic skull covered in food debris and fruit seeds.

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