While driving into work on Wednesday morning, I listened to the analysis on Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) regarding a robust showdown in Milwaukee regarding a recent influx of motorized rental scooters. Motorized scooters from Bird Rides Inc. arrived in Milwaukee in early June without warning, causing a heated debate and more than a few ruffled feathers. Apparently on Tuesday night the Milwaukee Common Council passed a measure that allows for the seizure and impoundment of any of these motorized scooters found on city streets or sidewalks.
As your Police Chief, the prospect of these devices landing in Madison was foremost in my mind as I listened to this story. While we have no information that the arrival of these motorized scooters is a foregone conclusion, I feel it is prudent to educate constituents about the current state of the law regarding these motorized scooters, and the legal risks that would be associated with renting and operating a motorized scooter on the streets of Madison.
According to our very capable City Attorney's office, these devices qualify as motor vehicles under Wisconsin law as currently written. Since motorized scooters do not conform to federal safety requirements, they are ineligible to be registered in the State of Wisconsin. As such, they may not be operated on any highway in the State, which includes sidewalks. Anyone operating one of these devices could be cited for operating an unregistered motor vehicle and subject to a forfeiture of $98.80. Additionally, it is illegal to park these motorized scooters on the roadway or sidewalk.
The City Attorney's office, the Common Council, and other stakeholders are currently drafting an ordinance to formally address the issue of motorized scooters. The ordinance will also set out the framework within which a company would have to operate in the City of Madison, in the event state law changed to allow their operation on the roadway.
In the interim, any prospective flock of these devices will have to choose a place to roost that does not include the City of Madison.
The information contained in my blog is derived from notes provided by MPD Officers-In-Charge (OIC) at the end of their shifts. Most narratives represent early and preliminary information that was gathered by an OIC from those in the field who were actively working cases. The OIC is sharing what they were being told, in the moment. In many instances, facts and circumstances, even the type of crime listed, can change as officers, detectives and investigators continue their work.
From 5:00 a.m. on 08/01/2018 through 5:00 a.m. on 08/02/2018, MPD received 557 calls for service. This number does not include parking complaints or 911 misdials. For purposes of clarification, the following abbreviations are short-hand for race designations: W=White, AA=African American, NA=Native American, H=Hispanic, ME=Middle Eastern, A=Asian, MR=Mixed Race, U=Unknown. MPD shifts are staggered as follows: 1st detail=7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 2nd detail=12 p.m. to 8 p.m., 3rd detail=3 p.m. to 11 p.m., 4th detail=8 p.m. to 4 a.m., 5th detail=11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
To further break down the 557 calls for service for the past 24-hours this is how the calls came in per district: Central (107), East (89), Midtown (74), North (89), South (69), West (76), and Other (53). Other=these are calls for service that either do not have a sector listed or the sector is not in the City. For example, if one of our officers assists another law enforcement agency, their sector is not listed in our districts so therefore it is listed under "other".
1) WEST: Death Investigation – 5:45 a.m. Officers responded to a west side residence for a deceased subject (32-year-old WF). The decedent had a history of health issues. Nothing suspicious on scene. Medical Examiner's office responded. Investigation continuing.
2) NORTH: Check Person – 6:41 a.m. Officers responded to a north side residence to check the welfare of a subject (23-year-old AAF). MFD administered CCR and naloxone to the subject. The subject was conveyed to a local hospital. Investigation continuing.
3) WEST: Check Person – 9:30 a.m. Officers responded to Schroeder Rd to check the welfare of a subject (67-year-old AAM). The living conditions were found to be deplorable and consistent with hoarding behavior. MPD Mental Health Officer plugged in. Investigation continuing.
4) EAST: Domestic Disturbance – 1:06 p.m. Officers responded to an on-going disturbance that occurred in a motor vehicle and resulted in a physical altercation taking place in a parking lot on E. Washington Ave. The two subjects (45-year-old WF victim and 40-year-old WM) left the area and ended up in the Terminal Drive area. The victim sustained visible injuries from the suspect punching her. The suspect fled and is at-large. Once located, the suspect will be charged with domestic battery and domestic disorderly conduct. Investigation continuing.
5) NORTH: Intoxicated Driver – 2:01 p.m. Officers responded to Wright St/Anderson St for a report of a subject slumped over in a vehicle. MFD administered Naloxone to the driver/suspect (44-year-old WM) and the passenger (41-year-old WM). The suspect and passenger were conveyed to a local hospital. The suspect was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, possession of heroin and a probation hold. No charges have been substantiated for the passenger at this time. Investigation continuing.
6) MIDTOWN: Check Person – 2:15 p.m. Officers responded to a local hospital regarding a subject (19-year-old WF) attempting to leave against medical advice. There were concerns for the subject's welfare and possible suicidal ideations. Journey Mental Health plugged in. An emergency detention was sought and approved. The subject was conveyed to Winnebago.
7) NORTH: Weapons Offense – 4:01 p.m. Officers responded to Thackery Rd for a report of three juveniles shooting windows with a BB gun. Damage was located, however the property owner was not. Three subjects in the area were contacted. A witness was not able to positively identify them. A search of the area did turn up an AR-15 airsoft gun but it could not be confirmed to be in the possession of any of the juveniles. Investigation continuing.
8) EAST: Road Rage – 4:51 p.m. A road rage incident was called in and originally responded to by the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP). The incident occurred on the Interstate. The WSP requested mutual aid from MPD as the drivers were located at different locations. Both drivers stated that the other driver was driving recklessly. At one point the drivers were stopped and confronted one another when one driver was punched (20-year-old WM victim). The primary instigator (36-year-old WM) was cited for battery. Investigation continuing.
9) CENTRAL: Residential Burglary – 5:35 p.m. Officers responded to a residential burglary on N. Frances St. Two suspects are observed on video entering rooms, taking laptops, video game systems and other electronics. One suspect was identified (16-year-old AAM). Both suspects are at-large. Investigation continuing.
10) NORTH: Assist EMS/Fire – 9:02 p.m. A subject (54-year-old AAM) was conveyed to a local hospital by MFD for having diabetic issues. Once at the hospital there were concerns identified for how much insulin the subject had injected. The subject's girlfriend (53-year-old WF) was contacted and she reported that they had smoked crack earlier in the day. The AAM subject is in critical condition. The WF was cooperative. Investigation continuing.
11) SOUTH: Domestic Disturbance – 9:22 p.m. Officers responded to a south side residence for a domestic disturbance between two subjects (25-year-old AAF victim and 33-year-old AAM suspect). The victim and suspect were involved in a physical altercation. The victim attempted to use her cell phone and landline but the suspect prevented her from doing so. The victim tried to leave the residence and the suspect refused to let her leave. The suspect was arrested for intimidation of a victim, false imprisonment, disorderly conduct and battery (all domestic-related charges).
12) CENTRAL: Information/Sexual Assault – 10:20 p.m. An officer was flagged down by a group of individuals about a possible disturbance. Witnesses described observing a victim (27-year-old WF) being slapped inappropriately on the buttock by a suspect who was following her. The suspect (53-year-old AAM) was contacted and he lied about his identity and what occurred. The suspect was arrested for 4th degree sexual assault, disorderly conduct, obstructing and a probation hold.
13) MIDTOWN: Check Property – 4:25 a.m. Officers responded to multiple reports of shots fired in the Britta Drive area. No evidence of shots fired located. Additional canvassing may be necessary during daylight hours. Investigation continuing.