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IUPD patrol on Qualification night ends in rape investigation, foot pursuit

IU Police Department patrol started out calm for Little 500 Qualifications weekend Saturday night with just noise complaints and sobriety checks. It ended with officers investigating a reported rape and chasing three people.

Around 10 p.m. Saturday night, IUPD officer Conner Wagner had been on shift for four hours already and had just returned from his dinner break.

An early stop was a noise complaint at Pi Kappa Phi on North Jordan Avenue. Wagner’s patrol area includes North Jordan Avenue and the North Jordan Avenue extension, so he said he responds to those often, especially when the weather is nice because people have more parties outside.

The bass from the song “No Type” by Rae Sremmurd rattled the police car as Wagner pulled up.

Cars driving to the party turned right back around at the sight of red and blue flashing lights. Women in black and white checkered pants hesitantly hung back, deciding whether or not to go in.

Wagner said he asked them to turn down the music, and as long as he didn’t get another call to the same house, it was merely a warning.

“They were having a great time in there,” he said.

He said he understands college students just want to have fun.

Driving down Kirkwood Avenue around 12:30 a.m., nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

“It’s super tame down here,” he said.

Other officers had responded to the smell of marijuana reported at Foster Quadrangle Shea Hall earlier in the night, but they had been there for almost half an hour. Wagner decided he should go check if they needed back up.

The strong smell of weed spilled out of the building the moment Wagner opened the first floor door.

One officer stood in the hallway next to two girls sitting on the ground. Two other officers searched the room.

They finally came out with a small bag of marijuana. It had been hidden with a lot of shoes, which is why officers took so long at the scene.

The girls told officers it was their first time smoking.

Officers didn’t press legal charges, but Wagner told the girls they might have to do Oasis classes.

“At the end of the day, we’re not here to take everyone to jail,” he said.

With the bag of marijuana in the trunk of his car, Wagner drove back to the station. He carefully transferred it to another bag and weighed it on a scale — 1.4 grams.

Around 1 a.m. other officers received a report of a rape outside Eigenmann Hall.

It was reported by a third party. Sgt. Kyle Moulden said police believed the rape happened a little before 8 p.m. Saturday. Detectives are currently investigating and looking for a suspect.

After speaking to Moulden around 1:30 a.m., Wagner and other officers were sent to investigate the area.

“We’re not looking for anything specific,” Wagner said. “We’re looking for anything at all.”

Wagner and another officer shined their flashlights in every bush, tree and trash can, leaves crunching and twigs snapping as they trekked around the perimeter of the residence hall.

Two officers checked the other side of the building.

After finding nothing, Wagner suggested they search a wooded area behind the Student Central building on North Union Street.

They only found a rope, which they decided was unrelated to the rape.

Next stop was the train tracks across from the Student Recreational Sports Center.

Wagner carefully walked along, trying not to slip on the rocks or trip on the rails in the 2 a.m. darkness.

Two other officers had gone ahead, their flashlights small dots in the distance.

Officers heard a rustling in the bushes — just a possum.

Then a confusing yell came over their radios. The two dots from the other officers’ flashlights were moving back Wagner's direction fast. They were running.

Wagner sprinted down the tracks. He jumped in his car and sped back to Eigenmann Hall, where the call came from.

At least six other squad cars were at the scene, all with lights flashing. Curious Eigenmann residents peeked out their windows. An IU-Notify alert about the reported rape had been sent out almost two hours ago.  

A few minutes later, Wagner returned and put a handcuffed man in the back of the car.

The officers questioned him and two other men. The men were unrelated to the rape case officers had been sent to investigate.

The men had been found in the area and ran when they saw foot patrol officers coming. One allegedly pushed an officer and another officer had to tackle a man to the ground to handcuff him.

Police ran a drug test on a powder substance found in a red fanny pack at the scene. They were unable to determine what it was at the time.  

A little after 3 a.m. Wagner drove the man, 19-year-old Jacob Jackson, to the Monroe County Correctional Center. Two other officers followed behind with IU freshmen Alec Martin and Brady Tolva.

While the officers filled out paperwork of the men's charges, their belongings were bagged, and they were taken through a door.

Jackson was booked on the preliminary charges of public intoxication, minor consumption of alcohol, resisting law enforcement and battery for allegedly pushing an officer.

Martin was charged with minor consumption of alcohol, and Tolva was charged with resisting law enforcement, public intoxication and minor consumption of alcohol.  

After putting them in jail, Wagner went back to the station to do paperwork.  

“A lot of being a cop is hurry up and wait,” he said.

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