Police Clear Up Rumors on Campus

Man spotted in Bridgeway, Wilgus/Dobson area posed no threat


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

A suspicious person was reported on campus on Sunday, Nov. 20 and Monday, Nov. 21, according to UW-Platteville Campus Police. The individual was found sleeping in the common area of Bridgeway Commons on Nov. 20 at 1:45 a.m. Police were later informed that the individual had entered Southwest Hall and was reported as being near Dobson and Wilgus Hall. Residence Life staff called the police. 

Rumors have abounded on campus concerning the individual. Students took to YikYak, an anonymous texting app, with concerns and questions about the events. One user posted “Anyone else hearing sh*t ab[out] the guy trying to break into the buildings around campus?? From the Milwaukee area, spotted by Wilgus and Bway and potentially could be dangerous and armed.”

Some responses included, “Yeah I overheard an officer talking ab[out] it to the RAs at Southwest” and “the latest update was he was unarmed and cooperative with anyone that interacted with him.”

The Exponent interviewed Campus Police Chief Joe Hallman about these rumors and concerns about campus safety they have raised.

Chief Hallman explained that the individual was first encountered during routine check-ins for Bridgeway Commons on Sunday, Nov. 20. Police approached the individual for questioning. According to Chief Hallman, there was no threat. 

“He was very cooperative,” Hallman stated. “Obviously, if there were any sort of threat, we are obligated to report it to the campus community.” Police escorted the individual out of the residence hall after offering services and assistance such as the Salvation Army.

The next day, in response to reports of the individual near the dorms, police again made contact. Upon questioning, police were informed by the individual that he had been in Southwest Hall earlier in the day. 

“How he got in there, we are not sure,” said Chief Hallman. The police assume that the individual had followed someone into the building. However, after their second conversation, the police informed the individual that he was to stay out of the residence halls because he was trespassing. The individual left campus and was said to be last seen in Dodgeville. 

Chief Hallman commended Residence Life staff for their awareness of their surroundings. He also noted that, although the individual did not pose a threat, students should remain aware of their surroundings. “If something doesn’t feel right, sometimes you have to go with your gut,” Chief Hallman said. “Call us. That’s what we’re here for.”