University police report more campus violations during summer months

Elizabeth Cook

University police cited approximately 13 people for driving with revoked or suspended licenses in the last week.

Because the campus population is lower in the summer, police officers have more time to enforce traffic violations and other crimes, said Steve Johnson, deputy police chief for the University Police Department.

“Summer months with schools out allow officers to do more directed patrols, including traffic enforcement,” Johnson said.

In one incident, University officer Geoffrey Maciejewski noticed a vehicle swerving. After the vehicle was stopped, the passenger began to hide something. The vehicle’s driver said she smoked marijuana earlier in the night and was tired. She was found to have a suspended license. The passenger was sitting on a marijuana pipe and also had a revoked license.

For many reasons, it is important to stop someone who is swerving on the road, Johnson said. They could be intoxicated, fighting or having a medical problem.

More driving incidents

Three people in four days were recently cited for driving with an instructional permit without the required licensed driver in the car.

Police do not often see this type of crime, Johnson said.

“I don’t see us writing a lot of citations for driving and violating the learner’s permit requirements,” he said.

In all three cases, officers pulled the offenders over for other reasons, such as two separate occasions of driving without headlights and once for a license plate light out and an object hanging from the rearview mirror.

“Officers have to have a reasonable suspicion to stop a car,” Johnson said.

In two cases, the vehicle was impounded, and in one case, a licensed driver, with the arrestee’s permission, arrived for the vehicle.

Officers issued citations in all three cases.

Skateboarding

In two incidents in the last week, three people were cited for skateboarding on campus, which has an ordinance prohibiting the activity.

In one incident, Maciejewski witnessed a man flying off a railing on a skateboard on the north side of the Pillsbury garage entrance.

While he was performing tricks, another person recorded them, and two others sat nearby with skateboards.

According to police reports, Maciejewski took the skateboard the man was using for tricks and impounded it. The man was also issued a citation for skateboarding.

“Skateboarding has caused a great deal of property damage on campus,” Johnson said.

Johnson said skateboarding has caused more than $50,000 in damage to the stone wall in front of Northrop Auditorium.

Skateboarders have also caused damage to the stone-cut benches on campus and numerous guard rails, Johnson said.

People who use the guard rails could cut their hands because of cuts on the handrails, he said.