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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Police Beat: Oct. 15

    Officer detains man for psych evaluation

    A University of Arizona Police Department officer went to the UA Main Library to check a man’s welfare on Monday. The man had no UA affiliation, but was in the Information Commons using a computer.

    The UAPD officer was called to check the welfare of a man whose cousin had requested police assistance at 8:19 p.m. The cousin said the man had a history of mental illness, had been diagnosed as bipolar and was no longer taking his medication. His family stated they felt the man was a danger to himself because he had posted some statements on Facebook that concerned them.

    In one post, the man asked all his friends for a dollar so that he wouldn’t have to hurt himself. A little later, he was upset because no one had sent him a dollar and he made another statement saying he was going to die. The family also believed the man could be dangerous to others because he had once had an argument with another family member almost turn violent when he attempted to hit them.

    A UAPD officer spoke with him for 15 to 20 minutes in the library. The man indicated he did have some mental problems in the past but was currently doing fine. He said he had no intentions of hurting himself or anybody else. He said his comments on Facebook were just a joke and that he meant nothing by them.

    The man said he stopped taking his medication because he did not like the way they made him feel. The man also said he did not wish to go to the hospital and was willing to talk to his family members to discuss things in order to clear everything up.

    Afterwards, UAPD officers left the library and explained what had happened to his family members. They said they were still worried about his mental state.

    At 11:15 p.m. the family called UAPD again and indicated that they had obtained a court order to commit the man to a hospital. The officer went back to the library and spoke with the man a second time. His family had filled out the emergency order for evaluation and a notary signed it, but it was not an actual court order.

    The family stated the Southern Arizona Mental Health Corporation indicated the order was grounds to detain the subject and place him in the hospital. The officer questioned the authority of the document and contacted SAMHC.

    A caseworker for SAMHC indicated the subject needed to be brought to the hospital to be evaluated but could not cite the statute that gave police the authority to forcibly remove the subject and transport him.

    The officer contacted a branch of University Medical Center and spoke with the psychiatrist on call. Due to the man’s prior mental health issues and the statements on Facebook, the psychiatrist said the man did need to be transported to a hospital for evaluation. Based on the doctor’s request under his authority, the officer took the man into custody. The man was upset but cooperative and was placed into custody without any incident. They transported the man to St. Mary’s Hospital for further evaluation.

    Half-rolled joint, half-baked coverup

    Two UA students were referred to the Dean of Students Office for possession of marijuana at the east side of Arizona Stadium on Monday.

    A UAPD officer was driving through the east side of the stadium while on patrol at 9:56 p.m. when he smelled burning marijuana. As he drove south, the smell got stronger.

    The officer then drove near a man and woman sitting at a table. The man got nervous and began moving his hands furtively. The officer got out of his patrol car and asked the man and woman to identify themselves. After they did so, the man showed the officer a half-rolled joint. The officer placed the marijuana into evidence and advised the man and woman they were being referred to the Dean of Students Office.

    Driver doesn’t ‘know what’s going on’

    A man was arrested for DUI of the slightest degree and booked at Pima County Jail on Saturday.

    While a UAPD officer was stopped at a stop sign at 11:19 p.m., he noticed a pickup truck traveling east without its lights on. The truck sped right past the officer, who began following the vehicle. As the truck accelerated, the officer saw that it still did not have its lights on. It came to a stop, and when it turned onto a different street, the driver had the lights turned on. The officer activated the patrol car’s lights and initiated a traffic stop.

    The officer approached the vehicle and made contact with a man who had red, watery eyes. He asked him if he knew why he was being pulled over, to which the driver said that he did not. The officer explained it was because he did not have his lights on. The man insisted his lights had been turned on the whole time he was driving.

    While the two spoke, the officer noticed a smell of intoxicants on the driver’s breath. When asked if he had been drinking, the man said no, and explained that he was coming from “”the football game.””

    When the officer asked for his license and registration, the man was able to pull out his license with no problem, but poked his finger inaccurately at the button on the center console a few times when trying to retrieve the insurance and registration.

    The officer returned to the patrol car and ran a records check on the man. Another officer arrived at the scene and informed the driver that he had also seen him driving without his lights on.

    With the man out of his truck, officers could detect a strong smell of intoxicants coming from his mouth. While talking to the officer, the man often placed both hands in his front pockets. The officer asked the man to remove his hands. He refused.

    The officer then told the man that he needed to take his hands out his pockets for the officers’ safety. They asked him to put his hands behind his back. The man became argumentative and asked, “”Why?””

    One of the officers took hold of his right wrist and put the man’s arm behind his back. As one officer did this, the man’s left hand came out of his pocket and he held it in the air above his head. The second officer assisted in handcuffing the man by taking control of his left hand and putting him in handcuffs.

    The man was placed under arrest for DUI of the slightest degree and transported to UAPD for a breath test. He refused to take it, so the officers called officers from the Tucson Police Department to come and assist in a blood test draw on him.

    While waiting for the warrant to be issued the man said to the officer, “”I am you. I am all you. You can write it all.”” He also said, “”You are barking up the wrong tree. Nothing is here.”” TPD officers secured a search warrant for the man’s blood and the blood draw process was started at 1:03 a.m.

    The man requested the option to have an independent test done at his own expense.

    The two UAPD officers took the man to UMC. The blood draw was completed, the man received his results from UMC staff. As a nurse asked him a few questions, the man randomly exclaimed that he “”did not know what was going on,”” and “”didn’t think this was fair.”” He was taken to Pima Country Jail, where he was booked.

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