Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Forceful panhandler chases student

University Avenue: Battery

An aggressive panhandler accosted two 19-year-old women at 1:15 a.m. Sunday
morning on the 600 block of University Avenue.

The panhandler, 32-year-old Christopher Blackmer, hit one of the victims in the face, according to a Madison Police
Department statement.


Police were on their regular route when they noticed the man yelling at the two women, the statement said.

The man tried to grab the women after they declined to give him 50 cents. He proceeded to chase
after the women and yelled derogatory slurs, the statement said.

Panhandling is illegal in the downtown business district, and aggressive panhandling is illegal
throughout the city by ordinance, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said.

Blackmer has a history of causing disturbances in the downtown area and is known
by many local police, Verveer said.

Alcoholism is a major factor for his inappropriate behavior, Verveer said, and many service
agencies have tried assisting the man, but have not succeeded.

Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said it is important to remember most people who spend a lot
of time on State Street act within appropriate means. It is only an occasional case when an
individual escalates the situation to being overly-aggressive, he said.

“Aggressive panhandling is a community issue that is not going to disappear even when
codified and banned,” Resnick said.

Verveer acknowledged the efforts of the police in this incident who were able to stop the man
before any other victims were involved.

Verveer said efforts to quell downtown disturbances could be partially attributed to staffing
efforts by the police.

This incident was an example of having sufficient resources at the necessary time, Verveer

State Street: Battery and Disorderly Conduct

A patron injured a bouncer at Whiskey Jacks Saloon on the 500 block of State Street early Saturday morning.
Antonio Myrland-Mejia punched the bouncer after he was asked
to change the position of his hat because it violated the dress code, a MPD statement said.

The bar patron chipped the bouncer’s tooth and broke the bouncer’s glasses, according to the statement.

A second suspect,Markus Cromwell, shoved a bouncer and a third suspect, who fled the scene, tipped over bar stools
on his exit, the statement said.

The statement said Myrland-Mejia was charged with battery and disorderly conduct, and Cromwell was cited for disorderly conduct. 

Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District 2, said Whiskey Jacks has had numerous disturbances and issues.

She said alcohol abuse has long been an issue in the downtown area.

The Alcohol License Review Committee reviewed Whiskey Jacks’ alcohol license was reviewed last year, Maniaci said.

“The review committee passed Whiskey Jacks’ liquor license because owners and management
worked diligently with the police department to put together a good, working strategy to cut
down on incidents,” Maniaci said.

Part of getting management involved, Maniaci said, is getting them to call and alert police so
problematic incidents can be dealt with quicker.

In the last five years, the city has also tried to increase safety in the downtown area by increasing
the police funding, Maniaci said.

She said funding has been used toward infrastructure, such as security cameras, and also to ensure there is
adequate staff in the peak hours of bar activity to maintain safety.

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