Cops_BC

BEN CLASSON/Herald photo

As the dust begins to settle over Madison’s Halloween celebrations, the city continues to tally arrests from the weekend’s parties. According to Cpt. Mary Schauf of the Madison Police Department’s Central District, the total number arrested on both Friday and Saturday nights has climbed to 181 from the original 175 reported earlier. Compared to the 235 arrests in 2006, however, this year’s numbers are down approximately 23 percent. "This is the way it started out," MPD public information officer Joel DeSpain said. "I was here in ’77, and it’s just fun to be back and see it return to what it was." DeSpain said 55 of the total arrests occurred on Friday night, while the remaining 126 were from Saturday’s festivities. Of the 181 total arrests, 135 people were released that same night, 43 were brought to jail and three were taken to detox. However, a release from the MPD stated that there were others brought to detox throughout the weekend who did not come through the arrest processing. Schauf reported there were only three criminal felony arrests for bail jumping, probation violation and a pending charge of possession of psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance derived from certain types of mushrooms. City Council President Mike Verveer said he was happy to hear the vast majority of the arrests were for noncriminal city ordinance violations. "We aren’t talking about criminals this year, as opposed to previous years," Verveer said. He added that he is not surprised to see that there were many arrests on the weekend given the police department’s approach to the festivities. "I think it’s foolish to think that with as many cops as we have on the street with a zero tolerance policy that there aren’t going to be a number of arrests," Verveer said. The most common city ordinance violations over the weekend were the 83 citations for open containers of alcohol and the 63 citations for underage possession and/or consumption of alcohol. The tickets each cost $298 and $172, respectively. Police also issued 40 citations for disorderly conduct, a $424 fine. Dave Maynard of Frank Productions said the company hopes to return for the event next year. Although a formal agreement has yet to be made with the city of Madison, Maynard said he thinks city officials will be happy to have Frank Productions run the event in 2008 given their positive reactions this year. "Everyone is really thrilled with everything," Maynard said. "We’re definitely happy, the mayor was beaming on Saturday night and the police were thrilled." Maynard added that from Frank Productions’ viewpoint, both partygoers and the artists were enjoying themselves as well. "One thing that went really well was the artists were thrilled with the crowd that they had," Maynard said. "Lifehouse mentioned it was the best show they had ever played and probably the biggest crowd they ever played to." Maynard added that there were no major problems this year, but that Frank Productions hopes to learn from the event in general in order to improve Freakfest for 2008. "We just hope the event continues to get better and better every year, we find more and more things to entertain people with and keep people coming back," Maynard said.