Student involved in parking altercation

Caleb Wasson

The battle for a parking spot can have dire consequences.

At about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, an altercation between a male Washburn University student and a Washburn police cadet began when the student was denied access to a restricted parking lot, according to police records. The names of the cadet and the student were not released by Washburn police.

Dean Forster, chief of the Washburn Police Department, said the cadet was guarding an entrance to parking lot P, located immediately west of Petro Allied Health Center, when the student drove up and attempted to park. An argument began and the individual put his car in gear and sped into the lot, nearly striking the cadet.

“The cadet had a choice of getting run over or moving out of the way,” said Forster. “The cadet chose to move.”

The incident was immediately reported to Washburn police. The student was issued a citation for parking in a restricted zone and an investigation into the event began. In the days following the altercation, several aspects have been considered, said Forster, and the investigation has been put on hold. The main factors for this decision, said Forster, were the altercation was all verbal and the cadet was never actually threatened.

“We have received a letter of apology from the individual and we are satisfied with his explanation,” said Forster.

No further action is expected, said Forster, but the incident should serve as a valuable lesson to all students.

“Cadets are not police officers, but they should be obeyed when they give an order,” said Forster. “If someone acts disrespectful, the cadets can call a Washburn police officer to their location and the disrespectful parties can be dealt with in a criminal fashion.”

During certain University functions, such as athletic events, parking lots P and 4 are reserved for specific people, said Ed White, captain of the Washburn Police Department. Washburn police are given a list of individuals who are allowed access into parking lot P during restricted times and are responsible for monitoring lot usage.

“Parking lots are normally blocked off an hour before the game starts, which is when the box office opens,” said Summer Broeckelman, marketing and ticket director of Washburn Athletics.

Parking lot P is reserved for trainers, coaches and athletic department staff, said Broeckelman. Three rows of lot 4, located to the east of Petro Allied Health Center, are reserved for Ichabod Club members who have donated a minimum of $500. In order to be allowed access to the restricted parking area in lot 4, eligible donors are given special stickers and license plates to affix to their vehicles.