Police beat: stolen backpacks, a fight, and counterfeit money

Alex Bowman, Police Reporter

Car doors have a lock for a reason

On Feb. 18, a UPD officer was dispatched to meet with a UNF student in reference to a stolen backpack, according to a report.

The officer met with the victim, who said their backpack had been stolen out of their car earlier this month on Feb. 12. The victim said the incident had occurred at either Lot 44 or Lot 55 where she had parked her car while she was on campus.

The officer looked at the victim’s car, but there was no sign of forced entry. The victim said she probably forgot to lock her car after she had parked.

The victim said on Feb. 17 she noticed one of her rear doors, which she rarely uses, wasn’t closed completely. This is when she realized her backpack was missing, according to the report.

Fight in the Field House Locker rooms

On Feb. 18, a UNF student came to the UPD office to report that he had been punched in the face by another student, according to a report.

When the student told the officer about being punched, the officer looked at the student’s face and noticed a small cut above the student’s right eye. The officer asked if the student wanted medical attention, but the student refused.

The student proceeded to explain that he had been playing basketball at the Field House on campus with the student who punched him. The complainant said that during the game the other student started playing rough and it seemed like he was trying to start a fight. When the other student started playing rough, the complainant said he quit playing in order to avoid conflict, so he went into the locker room to wash his face. The complainant said the other student followed him into the locker room and punched him in the stomach while he was washing his face at the sink. Additionally, the complainant said the other student continued to push and shove him until he had finally had enough and hit him back, which escalated the situation to a fight.

After hearing the complainant’s side of the story, the officer contacted the other student involved in the incident. The other student said he had just left Carespot where he had been due to injuries sustained from the fight, and that he was now heading to UPD to report the fight. A few minutes later, the student arrived at UPD with a bandaged finger. The officer asked if he needed any more medical attention, and the second student refused too.

The second student involved in the incident said he had been playing a physical game of basketball with the first student when the first student quit, said he didn’t want to fight and headed into the locker room. The second student involved said he followed the first student into the locker room to talk to him about why he thought they were going to fight. The second student said he wanted to talk to him to make sure there weren’t any future problems. When he went into the locker room he said he saw the first student washing his face and he tried to talk to him, but the first student wouldn’t respond. He said after the first student wouldn’t respond, he “tapped” him on the stomach and asked him what his problem was. After this, he said the first student swung at him which started the fight. The student said sometime during the fight the first student had bit his finger.

After talking to both parties involved in the fight, he talked to a witness to the incident who had been standing at the urinal in the locker room. The witness said he had seen the first student washing his face and he had also heard one of the two students ask something like “Are you okay?” then they started fighting. He said he hadn’t seen who had actually started the fight, but as soon as he saw the fight start he ran out of the locker room in order to get help to break up the fight.

Due to the conflicting stories of the students involved in the fight as well as the witness’s statement, both students involved were listed as both victim and suspect. Both parties were given state attorney cards and advised on how to file charges on each other, according to the report.

Stolen backpack at the gym

Wednesday morning, a UPD officer was dispatched to the UNF Student Wellness Complex in reference to a stolen backpack, according to a report.

The victim said she had gone to the UNF Student Wellness Center to workout and had left her backpack which contained her wallet in a locker and closed the door. After placing her backpack in the locker, she left to go workout. Approximately an hour later, the young lady returned to the locker room to retrieve her backpack, but she couldn’t find it.

After discovering that her backpack was missing, she looked around the surrounding area to see if she could find it. When looking through other unlocked lockers, she found her backpack in a different locker than she had left it in. However, after finding her backpack, she looked inside to see if her wallet was inside, but it was gone. The young lady immediately canceled her cards that had been inside the wallet. Additionally, she called her bank and found out the cards had not been used since being stolen.

When the officer was talking to the young woman, she admitted she had not locked the locker, according to the report.

Counterfeit money? Nope.

On Thursday, a UPD officer was sent to Chartwells in Building 16 in reference to a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill, according to a report.

When the officer arrived, he met with the complainant who said she had been going through the money from Building 58 for that day when she discovered a fake twenty-dollar bill.

After investigation, it was found out that the director of dining services for Chartwells went to Building 16 to deposit the money from the change order safe from Building 58. It was at this time that the complainant discovered the fake bill. It was unclear as to when the bill had first been accepted, but it was confirmed to be counterfeit by detection pen, according to the report.

However, the bill was turned into JSO, and the clerk at JSO ran the bill through her system and found that the bill was not counterfeit, according to the report.

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