UOPD Ride Along on Game Day: A trip to Buckley Detox House
Thirty crimes were reported to UOPD from Sept. 2 to Sept. 11, eight of them were during Game Day against the University of Virginia.
The Emerald went on a ride along with UOPD during the game from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
To monitor the crowd of 54,000 at a Ducks’ football game, UOPD has to collaborate with EPD and the Sheriff’s office, officer Adam Lillengreen said. UOPD is specially tasked with keeping the peace in the student section and on the field. For the game on Sept. 10, UOPD had six security officers and eight to ten sworn police officers working. Most of them worked a 12-hour shift, while some, including Lillengreen, had to pull a 16-hour shift.
Lillengreen said it is a joint effort of the all three departments to control the crowd, keeping the stadium and campus safe. On Saturday, only two officers, Lillengreen and Troy Phillips, were on duty on campus. The department’s biggest concern was mostly alcohol related, Lillengreen said.
Beside one DUII violation on Franklin Boulevard and Walnut Street, UOPD also dealt with a case of disorderly conduct resulted by excessive alcohol consumption.
At around 11:50 p.m., UOPD took a young man who identified himself as Brandon, into a detox center called Buckley House. The detox center is open for those who are incapable of caring for themselves after the use of alcohol or drugs. Community members can either voluntarily submit themselves to the facility to receive a room to sleep off the influence or be taken in by police for potentially causing harm to others. Two officers, who were at the game, drove Brandon in Buckley house with cuffs on his hands and feet. He had no shoes on.
According to the police, he was alone at Autzen stadium and only provided police with his first name. Officers at the scene found neither Brandon’s wallet nor identification documents on him.
As the pair of police carried Brandon into the facility, he couldn’t lift his head off the ground and eventually refused to walk.
— Trân Nguyễn (@tranngngn) September 13, 2016
Brandon, a male in his 20s with dark hair, was wearing a plain white shirt and black plants. He was placed in a small cell-like room. He failed to sit up straight and started screaming slurs when he realized his situation.
“Look, man, we are nonpolice here,” a staff tried to calm Brandon down before Brandon interrupted him by repeatedly screaming and sobbing, “Fuck you all. Let me go.”
A staff member finally took his blood pressure, which was 140/92. She said Brandon was most likely under influence of alcohol and “he will be fine.”
The two police officers then took the cuffs off and closed the heavy metal door behind them. The narrow window showed a peak into the room – Brandon passed out with his face down on the ground.
Since UOPD is still understaffed, the two officers on campus had to stay available for situations at most times – misdemeanors such as open container are usually overlooked during these times, Lillengreen said.
Lillengreen’s duty of the night was to keep impaired drivers off the roads and to patrol poorly lit roads as pedestrians walked back from the game.
The Ruth Bascom Bike Path, which connects Autzen Stadium to downtown Eugene, is especially dangerous at night, Lillengreen said. This also includes the “poole yard,” an empty lot next to the train tracks, which is a hotspot for criminals and sex offenders to lurk around, he said.
Throughout the patrol, Lillengreen stopped to talk to pedestrians walking home from the game, a street musician named Todd and a homeless man, who Lillengreen called “an opportunist.” The man said he has been arrested recently for punching a lottery machine, but he has been keeping his nose clean from meth.
“I don’t believe him when he said he was clean though,” Lillengreen said after we drove away. “It’s sad to see somebody goes down hill like that.”