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Police Best!: The Best of Police Beat 2018-2019

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Courtesy UAPD | The Daily Wildcat

University of Arizona Police Department officers on the UA campus. 

From stolen golf carts to drug busts and naive social media users, here are this year's most outrageous Police Beats.

Grand Theft Golf Cart (8/15/2018)

Two unknown male suspects took a joyride in a University of Arizona golf cart, then took off after crashing it into the University Services Building on Aug. 15, 2018.

Officers arrived on scene at approximately 5 p.m. and made contact with several UA Parking and Transportation employees standing near the cart.

The golf cart was unoccupied and appeared to be left running despite having no keys in its ignition. The cart was scratched, but still operable.

One of the officers spoke to an employee who said that at approximately 4:40 p.m., she saw a UA golf cart being driven recklessly with two college-aged males inside. 

She saw the car scrape the side of a pillar before driving past her line of sight. She walked toward the direction they were headed and saw that the cart was stopped near a set of stairs.

She said one of the men walked up to her and told her that they’d been driving down a ramp when the golf cart lost control and struck the stairs. He then handed her a key and took off with the other man.

The employee gave the officer the key, which he noted clearly did not belong to the golf cart. He suspected that the men had used it to turn the ignition more easily.

The officer contacted the coordinator for UA admissions, where the cart was registered, who said she noticed the cart missing at around 5 p.m. This was odd considering no one had permission to use it and she still had the ignition key.

The coordinator told the officer that she was unsure if she wanted to prosecute, as she would need to check with her supervisor.

She estimated the cart was worth $12,000.

Don’t Threat on Me (1/20/2019)

An attack on an Uber driver! A balcony monologue! Mysterious pants! It was an eventful night for one man before, during and after a party at the former Kappa Sigma fraternity house on Jan. 20.

According to the University of Arizona Police Department report on the incident, an Uber driver picked up four people at approximately 1:40 a.m. and began to drive them to a party.

The male passenger in the back seat took out an electronic cigarette, but the driver asked him not to smoke in his car. He put the pen away but glared at the driver through the rearview mirror during the trip, the driver later told an officer.

When they arrived, the man exited the car, then yelled at the driver, telling him that if he had let him vape in the car, the man would have given him a much higher review. The driver replied that he did not care.

According to the driver, the man then stood at the front passenger window and threatened the driver, who responded that it would be a bad idea to follow through. The man reportedly lunged at the driver through the window, threatening to kill him.

The driver quickly exited the car to avoid being hit. Several other men who had been standing in front of the fraternity house rushed to physically restrain the man, who was still threatening to kill the driver. The others called the man by his first name while restraining him. They were eventually able to get him inside the house.

The driver reported the incident to UAPD and an officer arrived at the scene. The driver recounted his story and said he feared for his safety and wanted to prosecute for the threats. 

The officer knocked on the fraternity house door, but it took several attempts before two men finally answered. They both denied knowing anything about the incident, though the driver said that the men at the door had been a part of the group who had restrained the man. 

When the officer asked about the man, using his first name, the men replied that there were a lot of guys with that first name at the party. 

They then said they would go try to find the man the officer was talking about, but several minutes later, they had not returned.

A person then appeared on a balcony. The officer called up to them, who, the officer noted, looked intoxicated, and asked if he knew where the man was.

Within minutes, the person had descended the balcony and identified himself to the officer as the man he was looking for. He denied knowing anything about the threats and said he’d been at the fraternity house all night.

The driver positively identified him as the man who had threatened him, though he had evidently changed clothes after entering the house.

Based on that identification and description, the officer arrested the man on charges of Threats and Intimidation.

The officer conducted a search of the man and found a wallet containing a driver’s license that did not match the man. The officer asked about it, and the man insisted the pants were his but the wallet was not and he could not explain how it got there. The wallet was returned to its owner.

The officer transported the man to Pima County Jail and sent a Student Code of Conduct referral to the Dean of Students Office.

Snapface (3/28/2019)

A Snapchat brag lead to a picture-perfect drug bust for the UAPD on March 28.

UAPD received an anonymous tip through the LiveSafe app that a student in Manzanita-Mojave Residence Hall was selling drugs. The tip included a Snapchat video of the student’s drugs and his prices.

The video was captured in what looked like a messy dorm room, according to the police. In the video, a student pinched marijuana buds to show their quality. He also had several THC cartridges, gummy edibles and a large white “rock” police suspected was cocaine.

Each item had a price tag attached that listed the item’s THC content in milligrams.

The officer went to Manzanita-Mojave and located the student’s room at around 5 p.m. He knocked on the door for about 5 minutes and could see someone’s feet moving around the room and someone looking out the door’s peephole.

The officer called the student’s cell phone number, which he obtained through a records check. On the second try, the student picked up and he sounded as if he had been asleep. The officer asked him to open the door.

Three or four minutes later, the student answered the door and allowed the officer to enter his room. The officer immediately recognized the room as the one in the video. 

The officer asked about the Snapchat video and the student denied such a video existed or that he had any part in producing the video. He also denied having or selling any drugs.

The officer asked to search the room, but the student denied permission. The officer thanked the student for his time and left.

Based on what he had seen in the room and in the videos, the officer returned to the UAPD station and applied for a search warrant. He spoke to a superior court judge on the phone, who granted the warrant.

The officer returned to the student’s room at around 7:30 p.m. and searched the student and the premises.

Full THC cartridges, plastic baggies containing a white substance, multiple digital scales and a spiral notebook with a record of payments made and amounts owed were found in the room.

The officer also found a small safe. He asked the student to open it and explained that if he did not provide the combination, the safe would be forced open. The student refused. 

The officer took the safe back to the station to open it there. Inside were dozens of full THC cartridges, gummy edibles, over 50 grams of marijuana, court paperwork for a different case involving the student and a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

The student was arrested on six counts: marijuana possession, marijuana possession for sale, narcotic possession, narcotics possession for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm while committing a drug offense.

The student was booked in the Pima County Jail. The officer also forwarded a Student Code of Conduct violation to the Dean of Students Office.


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