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‘Ides of October’ case remains open while police seek evidence

November 14, 2014

One month ago, the UW-River Falls campus was shook by an anonymous threat, and while that seems to be an afterthought to students now, the authorities remain hard at investigative work.

River Falls Chief of Police Roger Leque spoke to a UWRF journalism class on Oct. 23 and said that the police had a person of interest that has been identified. Neither the city police department nor the campus police department would confirm the statement.

“This is an open investigation and while it remains under investigation, there is not a lot of information we can release,” said UWRF Chief of Police Karl Fleury. “It is being actively investigated. The safety of our campus community is the most important thing to us.”

The original message to students about the threat came back on Sept. 29, but the real scare hit on Oct. 10, when Fleury sent an updated campus alert out. The new alert had a message that was believed to be directed at Oct. 15 with the words, “Beware the Ides of October, the time is nigh and the bullets will fly.”

Those words turned the UWRF campus into a frenzy with rumors spreading like wildfire, many classes getting cancelled, students even leaving campus for the day and officers being placed in every building on campus for the whole week of Oct. 15.

“The threat was hyped up quite a bit but I feel the school took the right precautions,” said junior student Eli Gindele. “The security was really high, making campus feel safe.” One police officer on campus the day of the threat remarked that the UWRF campus was the safest place in Pierce County with all the law enforcement around.

Since the threat, no new information has been released. The last email about the threat was sent out on Oct. 10, and no new alerts have been posted to the University Police page online, leaving students like sophomore Carissa Montgomery and junior Peter Anderson to wonder what ever happened with it.

“It feels like it happened a long time ago,” Montgomery said. “I still wonder if I will ever find out more information about the threat. I definitely still wonder if the person who sent the threat has been caught.”

“I periodically think about it still,” Anderson said. “I do not feel unsafe but I am curious what is going on with the case.”

Fleury said while there is not much he can release about the case, he believes the campus community can help bring the case to light.

“What we really need is assistance from the campus community,” Fleury said. “If somebody out there has that piece of evidence we need, it can bring this whole thing together.”

Fleury said that if anybody out there has seen anything, heard anything, or even think they have a little information that would help the case, that they should call the UWRF university police department.

“Sometimes people think that it will not make a difference, but I ask please do not think that,” Fleury said. “Give us a call and provide that information, and if it is valuable we will make that determination, and if not we appreciate and value the call.”

Information on the University Police can be found at uwrf.edu/Police. University Police can be reached at 715-425-3133.