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Police Beat 10/2/2019: Vehicular Crime Blotter

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Courtesy UAPD | The Daily Wildcat

University of Arizona Police Department officers on the UA campus. 

Tales from the Lyft

Halloween may be around the corner, but no ghost story can compete with the “creepy” stories one passenger heard from her rideshare driver.

A University of Arizona Police Department officer responded to a call from a woman who was already at the UAPD station on Sept. 21 at around 8:20 p.m.

The woman told the officer she was a rideshare driver and that she had been hearing worrying reports from a passenger who told her that another rideshare driver she had ridden with had been bragging about “raping” students on campus. 

The man also reportedly said that he had dated a UA student and kept condoms and pregnancy tests in his car, which he makes girls take after assaulting them.

The woman who was making the report said she works as a driver as well and had built up close relationships with many of her frequent passengers, which is why this story disturbed her to the point she needed to report it to law enforcement.

She also said she was considering handling the problem herself, which the officer urged her not to do.

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The officer asked if she had any more information on the other driver. The woman said all she knew was his name on his rideshare profile and that he drives an SUV with green lights around the windows. 

She also gave the officer the contact information of the passenger who originally told her about the driver.

The officer spoke with the passenger on the phone and explained why he was calling. She initially told him that she was fine and did not have anything to report.

He asked her again, this time mentioning the stories of sexual assaults. She then told him that she had ridden with a driver who worked for Uber and Lyft and who told the “creepiest stories.” She then repeated that everything was fine and there was nothing to report.

The officer gave her the case number should she want to report anything in the future.

Punch buggy

A visit from a police officer can knock some sobriety into any drunk person on a Friday night.

UAPD officers arrived at the area near Cherry Avenue and Drachman Street at around 11 p.m. on Sept. 20 after receiving a call from Parking and Transportation Service employees who said they saw a man riding in circles on an electric scooter yelling at people and asking them to “punch him in the face.”

The officers quickly found the man, who gave them his driver’s license. The officers noted that he was 20 years old. 

When one of the officers began to talk to the man, he confirmed that he was 20 years old. The officer told him about what the employees had seen. While talking, the officer reported that the man smelled like alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and was swaying slightly as he stood.

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The officer also called over the two PTS employees, who told him they had been patrolling the area when they saw the man stagger as he ran in circles. They temporarily lost track of him before he reappeared, now with a scooter. 

The officer went back to the man to continue interviewing him. He noted the man’s age and signs of intoxication and said he wanted to ask him a few questions. The man said that he had “pre-gamed” by drinking alcohol before he attended a Date Dash at a sorority. 

When the officer asked if he had bought the alcohol, the man reportedly hesitated. He also did not want to give the officer his wallet to look at when asked, so the officer said, “Just give me your fake ID.” The man then pulled out a driver’s license that said he was 24 years old.

The officer arrested the man for minor in possession with liquor in body and possession of a fictitious ID. He was cited and released.

He’s got it handled

Law enforcement officers often arrive at the scene of a crime after the deed is already done. But one UA graduate student has an unusual strategy to keep serious crime from happening in the first place.

A UAPD officer arrived at Tyndall Avenue Garage after receiving a report of a vehicle that looked like it had been broken into on Sept. 20 around 3:40 a.m. 

According to the Parking and Transportation Services employee who made the call, the lock on the vehicle’s driver’s side door looked like it had been punched out and its camper shell was open.

The employee also told the officer that the day before when he had been checking the garage, he noticed that the vehicle had been parked in the same spot for a month. When he went back to it that day for a closer look, he noticed the suspicious damage.

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PTS gave the officer the name and phone number of the student the vehicle was registered to, and the officer gave that student a call. The student lived in a residence hall nearby and agreed to come to the garage.

When he arrived, the student explained the damage. He said that the broken door lock and damaged camper shell had been like that for a while. He also told the officer he left the door unlocked to prevent future damage if anyone tried to break in, though he never left anything valuable in the vehicle.

The student checked the car and confirmed that he did not see any unexplainable damage or changes.


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