UWPD body camera video shows altercation where student hits cop in face

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MADISON (WKOW) — A mix of surveillance video from Witte Hall and body camera footage from UW-Madison Police show the tense moments between officers and a student who they say was drunk.

“It’s not appropriate to act like this person did,” said Marc Lovicott, the spokesman for UWPD.

Lovicott says police were called after freshman Logan Mitchell, 18, was found urinating in a hallway in Witte Hall. It’s a call Lovicott said officers get sent to fairly frequently.

“We’ll cite somebody for that. It’s a citation. It’s not a felony and that’s what this turned into because of this individual’s actions,” Lovicott said.

In surveillance video from inside Witte Hall, you can see Mitchell try to stumble by a responding UW police officer. The officer asks Mitchell, who’s trying to hold up his unzipped pants, to sit down on the floor.

At first, Mitchell stares at the officer and doesn’t say a word.

“He’s just glazed over,” Lovicott said, describing what’s shown on video.

In the footage, you can see Mitchell stumble to his left as the officer steps in to grab him. Lovicott said it was the officer’s attempt to make sure Mitchell didn’t fall.

“Sit down on the ground right now,” the officer said to Mitchell.

Mitchell ignored the officer’s demand. The officer then tries to take Mitchell into custody.

“OK, let’s turn around,” the officer said next as he grabbed Mitchell and turned him around.

A scuffle ensues and Mitchell can then be seen turning around and striking the officer in the face. The officer backs off and begins to pull out his taser.

“It should never come to this,” said Lovicott. “It should never get to this level. Most individuals don’t turn and punch a police and I think that’s what makes this case different.”

In body camera video, the officer can be heard telling Mitchell to get down as he points his taser at the student.

“Get on the ground!” the officer yells.

“Shut the [expletive] up bro,” Mitchell said back.

“Get on the ground right now,” the officer responded.

“Shut the [expletive] up,” Mitchell yells back.

The officer never uses his taser. Instead, he waits until other officers arrived on the floor. Surveillance video shows them arriving in the elevator behind Mitchell. They then take him to the ground and arrest him.

After struggling with Mitchell, the officer who was hit in the face can be seen being checked on by another officer.

“My face hurts a little,” the officer can be heard saying. “Does it look bad?”

“No,” another officer responds.

Police said Mitchell was so combative he had to be taken down a second time once officers got him to the lobby of the building. Body camera video shows officers then tying his legs together to try to restrain him. Then, seven officers can be seen carrying the freshman student out of Witte Hall.

“I can’t tell you the last time that I can remember that something this severe in assaulted behavior to one of our officers has happened,” said Lovicott.

Mitchell now faces two felony charges including battery to an officer and resisting an officer causing substantial bodily harm.

The Dane County District Attorney’s office asked for a signature bond, meaning Mitchell paid nothing to get out of jail as court proceedings continue.

UWPD did not comment on the bond decision.

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz

Reporter, WKOW

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