Imposter puzzles police

The Butler University Police Department continues to search for the man who impersonated an undercover policeman between Jordan Hall and the Health and Sciences Building.

On Sept. 11, at approximately 10 p.m., a plain-clothed man approached a female student and asked the student to perform a breathalyzer test.

The female student did not alert Butler University Police Department in time for officers to respond.

The department has no leads as to who the suspect is or why he was on campus.

The Indiana State Excise Police have confirmed with BUPD that the suspect was not an excise officer.

Travis Thickstun, corporal for the state department, said the suspect’s actions are not consistent with the procedures followed by excise police.

“Ensuring the safety of students and residents on or near Butler’s campus remains our top priority,” Thickstun said.

Ben Hunter, chief of staff and executive director of public safety, said the reason the timely warning issued by the BUPD regarding the incident was sent a week late was because BUPD was not notified until the weekend after the event.

After receiving notice he said BUPD had to confirm with excise police that it was not an excise officer and in fact a man impersonating a police officer.

“This incident is something that absolutely disturbs both us at Butler and the excise police because I have never had to deal with an issue of impersonation,” Hunter said.

Bill Weber, assistant chief of police, said there are no leads on the suspect.

“The only way we will be able to catch this impersonator is having a student or an officer being in the right place at the right time,” Weber said.

Thickstun, Hunter and Weber all said if students are approached by an undercover cop they can request to see a badge and ID and also request for a uniformed officer to be present.

The excise police now are linked to BUPD radios, making it easier for a BUPD officer to be present by a student’s request if an excise officer stops the student.

They also said students should report anything suspicious for BUPD to inspect so it can be aware of the situation.

“We can only stop this from happening with the 4,000 pairs of eyes we have walking around campus,” Weber said, “in places the BUPD cannot be.”


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