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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 Date10/24/2013 - 7:47 AM
Address100 block State St.
DetailsCurled beneath a thin, dirty blanket, he lay shoeless on the cold metal bench, trying to convince those who had just awakened him that he was "fine."
Huddled around him were two Madison Police officers, an advocate for the homeless from Bethel Lutheran Church, and a Dane County Human Services worker. They knew better. Homeless on the Isthmus, with winter setting in, was no place for a 40-year old man suffering from Huntington's.
The inherited disease causes a progressive breakdown of the brain's nerve cells, usually resulting in movement and thinking problems. There are also, often times, psychiatric disorders. Feeling sad, worthless and having social withdrawals are common with Huntington's. "Most patrol officers have had contact with 'Peter' (not his real name) and have been fielding questions, about his situation, from concerned citizens," said a Central District lieutenant.
Officers knew where to check on "Peter." He was always on the same "bunk," right in front of a State Street pizza parlor. He did not know it when he awoke, but this would be his last morning rising in the shadow of the State Capitol.
Those who cared about him, the ones gathered around him, told him that they had found him a real home. One of the officers emailed the news to his Central District peers: "I'm happy to report that through the tireless efforts of a great many people, a residential placement has been found for 'Peter', one of our regulars from 100 State."
The other officer said "Peter" was, at first, uneasy: "His movements, which are ordinarily jerky and large because of his Huntington's, seemed even larger in his agitation and he was swinging his arms and sometimes kicking with his legs."
But something changed in that squad car ride to the nearby county where a facility that specializes in long-term care for Huntington's patients is located: "'Peter' was passive on the drive out and actually seemed to welcome the prospect of a hot shower and clean clothes," wrote the officer in the aforementioned e-mail.
When they arrived, the other officer noted "Peter" was moving into a "spacious, clean and well appointed living space. Staff was explaining the freedoms and rights and services he would enjoy here. By the time we finished, 'Peter' was no longer asking to stay in Madison (he stopped asking once we were in the squad car) and he seemed very content with his situation."
The officer, who thanked colleagues for their help, closed his email this way: "What matters is 'Peter' is someplace warm and safe where he can be looked after 24/7 by trained and committed caregivers."
In a reply email, a Central District lieutenant told the list of recipients: "I have no doubt that without your hard work and dedication to this, he would still be living on the street."
There he had people who cared about him, but not those who could adequately care for him.
Released 11/12/2013 at 12:59 PM by PIO Joel DeSpain
The location shown is approximate & may not be accurate.