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Police Incident Reports
Incidents listed are selected by the Officer In Charge of each shift that may have significant public interest. Incidents listed are not inclusive of all incidents. Requests for information can be directed to the MPD Records Unit: (608) 266-4075.
Incident TypeCheck Person
Incident Date04/16/2013 - 9:48 AM
Address100 block W. Washington Ave.
DetailsTuesday morning, a concerned citizen asked for a police officer to come check on a man. He had been seated on a Capitol Square curb "for the last two days," or so it seemed to the caller.
When the officer arrived, he found the man rubbing the stump of one of his two missing legs. "I'll move along," he said to the officer. "I said I wasn't here to chase him away, but to find out if he needed help." The 61-year old was clad in a light jacket and looked cold, as he sat on concrete, on what was another cool morning of an unusually damp spring. He explained that he is homeless, that he does have two prosthetic legs, and that one of his legs has really been giving him trouble lately. The officer offered to drive him to a free clinic, but the man said he needed no help with anything. He added that – at some point – he might take a bus to the medical facility.
He put on his artificial leg and stood up. "I saw that he needed to steady himself with his hands on the sidewalk to get up," wrote the officer, in his report. "I asked if he had a cane, and he said he didn't." The officer asked again: "What would help you?" The man thought for a moment, and said: "A wheelchair would help." The officer told him he would make some calls, and see what he could do.
Later that day, one of those he called, a contact at St. Vincent de Paul, got a hold of the officer and said there was a used wheelchair at the Williamson St. location. The good folks at St. Vincent were more than willing to donate it to the man. The officer put the chair in his squad and took it to a shelter where the man has been staying. He used a Sharpie to write the man's name on the chair and left it with staff members.
The next day, when the officer began his tour of duty, he stopped by the shelter. There he saw the man in his gently used wheelchair. He told the officer it would take some time before his able to "zip around." He then pushed his hair aside "and looked me in the eye - for the first time, "wrote the officer. He made a big smile, and said "thank you."
The officer told the man to give him a call, if the chair should need maintenance, and he would try to help out.
The officer, who is a humble public servant, asked his name not be used in this release. He did not do what he did for recognition. He just wanted to help a citizen in need.
Released 04/18/2013 at 2:00 PM by PIO Joel DeSpain
The location shown is approximate & may not be accurate.