MPD: ‘Very serious’ about shutting down Mifflin Street Block Party for good
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On the heels of last weekend’s celebration where dozens were arrested and a stolen gun was found, Madison Police say they’re looking at ways to end the Mifflin Street Block Party for good.
“This is nothing but a drunk fest that is unsanctioned by the university and by the city, and it continues year after year, and we feel that essentially by doing nothing, this event gets endorsed,” Captain Mike Hanson said Monday.
Hanson said Saturday’s event brought more than 10,000 UW-Madison students to the off-campus location. It also featured a stolen gun, high school students, an uprooted city sign being waved around and a nurse who got kicked in the head due to “drunken rage.”
Among the dozens arrested and three people taken to the Dane Co. Jail was a UW Badgers wide receiver. The student, later identified as Markus Allen, was searched after police saw him with an open drink. Hanson said officers found a stolen gun on him.
Dane Co. records obtained by NBC15 show Allen bailed himself out of jail for $500. He left 36 minutes after being admitted.
Hanson said he did not know where the gun came from or why he had it. A follow-up investigation this week is expected to answer other questions like whether the gun was loaded.
The student tradition dates back to 1969. Through the decades, there have been stabbings and property destruction, including a porch collapse in 2022.
“We deal with the aftermath, and the aftermath is the arrests, the assaults, the injuries, the property damage, and it’s year after year,” Hanson said. “We’ve all worked this event for a lot of years and as we see it continue, now we’re commanders of this district.”
In a statement to NBC15, a UW-Madison spokesperson wrote in part, “The off-campus Mifflin Street Block Party is not a university sanctioned event, however, the university recognizes that it can have a negative impact on our community. The university is interested in learning more about MPD’s plans to address long-standing concerns with the event.”
On Mifflin Street, UW-Madison senior Eva Fernandez said Tuesday, “I feel there are ways city and police can support this activity and allow this tradition to continue safely.”
Police say they recommended charges against Allen to the district attorney, including one for carrying a concealed weapon and another related to alcohol. Officers are also looking into his intoxication level to see if there will be an additional charge.
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