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Police Beat 3/4/20: Setting fire to the world

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Alex McIntyre | The Daily Wildcat A University of Arizona Police Department officer makes a call while standing by near the Koffler building on the UA campus.

Couch Candle

Let’s admit it, we all have a little bit of pyromaniac in us. Lighting little things on fire every once in a while can be a weird little guilty pleasure. Most of us know pretty well, on the other hand, that lighting furniture on fire probably is a very bad idea, especially if you decide to do it with a firecracker. 

According to the police report, two officers were dispatched to  Árbol de la Vida Residence Hall on the evening of Feb. 13 in reference to a couch that was or had been burning on the fourth floor. No smoke alarm or smoke was observed when they walked in, but there was a small couch sitting in the hallway with a red solo cup sitting on it, liquid under the couch, and a burnt spot that was 3-6 inches wide where the back of the couch connected with the seat. When the officers entered the hall they observed two pieces of a “bottle rocket” on the ground at the east end of the hall where a seating area was; the couch was from this seating area. The firecracker had been angled to shoot down the hall but had malfunctioned and the main charge had not been activated.

When Tucson Fire Department arrived, a small firecracker was found stuck between the cushion and backrest of the couch with no active smoke but definite burnt residue where the firecracker had been inserted. One of the officers spoke with the residents who lived adjacent to where the incident had occurred. Both reported hearing a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot and had come out of their room to see smoke coming from the chair, but no one in sight. One of the residents took a video of the aftermath, which she provided to the police officer. Neither of them had any idea who had set it off or where they had gone. 

The incident was turned over to a University of Arizona Police Department detective and the individuals who set off the firecracker have still not been found at this time. 

RELATED: Police Beat 2/26/20: Kicking and Screaming

Preach: Get Punched

If you go to the University of Arizona, I’m sure you saw the viral video of the man being punched on the UA Mall a few weeks ago. I remember seeing it and wondering what could have made this this outcome occur, as it didn’t seem like there was any real story. Turns out there really wasn’t. 

According to the police report, on Feb. 12 an officer was dispatched to the south side of the Administration building on campus near the Mall. He reported a large crowd of over 100 people gathered around a man who was shouting from inside the circle. The crowd was verbally interacting with the man in a rowdy manner. The officer decided to enter the inner part of the circle, and as he did, he heard “oooohh” from behind him. When he turned around, he found the individual that had been preaching stumbling as another man was retracting his arm. The man that had been preaching started shouting about being assaulted and the student that had punched him was placed in handcuffs.

When interviewing the man who had been preaching, he said he had “cordial conversation” with the student that punched him both today and yesterday and didn’t seem to be sure what provoked the closed-fist swing that had knocked his sunglasses to the ground. He stated he did not want to press charges, but was concerned for his $225 Ray-Bans and wanted them replaced since they were now scratched. 

There was never any resolution except for the accounts of two witnesses and multiple video recordings, but the student’s reason for punching the man remains a mystery. 

An Apple a Day

We all know how the old saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While this apple may keep the doctor away, it won’t keep the cops. 

According to the police report, on Feb. 11, an officer was conducting a building check of the South Stadium Parking Garage when he spotted a student on the top level near the elevators who had no intention of getting on them as he had a backpack and other items sitting out on the concrete surface by them. When the officer began to approach the student in his car, the student hurriedly began to put some of the items into the backpack. When the officer exited the car, the student began to walk away without the backpack, and the officer stopped him for questioning. 

“I just got a little bit of weed, if you’re going to take me, take me,” the student responded. A for honesty, I must say. 

The officer could smell the odor of fresh marijuana and when he asked where it was, the student responded that it was in the apple that was sitting there, as well as some more in a plastic bag in his backpack. The student said that he arrived ten minutes before to smoke the weed out of the apple, that he got the marijuana from a friend, was not legally allowed to smoke it and smokes every couple of days. The officer searched the backpack for additional contraband but did not find any. 

The student was advised that he would be diverted to the Dean of Students Office since he had had no prior issues with UAPD or elsewhere and it was his first offense. The officer also thanked the student for his cooperation, probably since it is something not seen very often. His apple with the marijuana in it, plastic bag with marijuana and lighter were photographed and taken back to UAPD as evidence, and the marijuana was submitted as evidence while the lighter and, thank god, the apple were disposed of accordingly after being properly reported. 


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