Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Pub Crawl sees uptick in crime

Violence overshadows UWO’s biannual off-campus drinking event
Jess Duch / Advance-Titan Officers of the Oshkosh Police Department investigate a party on Amherst Avenue during the spring edition of Pub Crawl Saturday.

Oshkosh’s unofficial biannual drinking event, known as Pub Crawl, kept area law enforcement busy over the weekend, with over 48 citations written and three people taken into custody.

UWO biology student Walter Ratliff said he had a fun experience with Pub Crawl despite the violence. 

“With gatherings that large and alcohol involved, I think you can’t expect nothing to go wrong, as it did,” Ratliff said. “But I’d say overall, I think as long as you were safe and had a plan, I think it was a great weekend.”

A 20-year-old man was arrested by Oshkosh Police Department after firing 16 shots outside near campus April 13 at about 9:39 p.m. during Pub Crawl.

OPD reported there were approximately 100 people in the area of the shooting, and officers were able to saturate the area almost immediately. Nobody was injured, and there were no reported property damage from the incident, according to an OPD press release from April 15. 

The shooter was taken into custody for first degree recklessly endangering safety, felon in possession of a firearm, felony bail jumping, possession of THC second offense and possession of MDMA second offense.

Ratliff said that he heard the gunshots while inside a house a block away from the shooting.

“[Me and my friends] were confused as to what they were,” he said. “A couple other guys came into the house a couple of minutes later and talked about how they had heard gunshots popping off. Then we saw cop cars out there for probably three or four hours at the crime scene.”

Ratliff said he took cover in the house he was in when the shots rang out.

“I didn’t want to get anywhere near that,” he said. “I was safe in the house. And that’s where I wanted to stay.”

In an email to students, the UW Oshkosh Police Department said that they received questions about the lack of using UWO’s Titan Alert system after the shooting.

“Titan Alerts are used to inform and direct UWO community members regarding situations that take place on the UWO campus so they can make decisions about their personal safety and, as needed, take shelter in the event of oncoming dangers and ongoing threats,” the UWOPD email said.

UWOPD said that during the shooting April 13, both UWOPD and OPD had personnel in the incident’s area when calls came in.

“Law enforcement personnel were able to saturate the area almost immediately, and that helped officers quickly assess if there was any immediate ongoing danger and the suspect was apprehended,” the email said. “We always evaluate our Titan Alert practices following situations that occur on and near our campus. We will use information we have gathered regarding this specific incident to evaluate our future communications.”

Ratliff said he was a little surprised that there was no Titan Alert after law enforcement received word of the shooting.

“But, maybe it’s just me, I think most teenagers are smart enough to know when they hear gunshots, you need to run to the safest place possible,” Ratliff said. “The police are going to know more about the situation than we do, I would like to think. Maybe it was in the best interest of them to just keep it wrapped up so that the victim or the perpetrator didn’t get away. You know, you never really know a situation like this until it all comes out about a week or two later.”


Four other arrests were made during Pub Crawl, including a 20-year-old man from Oshkosh arrested for disorderly conduct and violating probation/parole rules and a 21-year-old man from Fond du Lac arrested for disorderly conduct, battery, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest. He battered a female and pushed several others at a party. 

A 20-year-old man from Sheboygan was taken into custody for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, as was a 21-year-old man from Milwaukee for disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed weapon (brass knuckles), and possession of marijuana and amphetamine.

There were 48 total citations written by OPD over the duration of Pub Crawl. Three underage citations were written for underage alcohol consumption/possession and 39 were written for open intoxicants. 

Ratliff said that he thinks there shouldn’t be more restrictions for future Pub Crawls after the shooting.

“You can’t stop the kids from doing what they’re gonna want to do,” Ratliff said. “I think the way that it was handled is the best way that it could be handled, which was kind of the cops just observing.”

Ratliff said that he thinks the cops handled Pub Crawl as well as they could have.

“The cops aren’t given enough credit and it’s a tough situation to be in,” Ratliff said. “You have probably thousands and thousands of kids looking to just get wasted, and you got a police force of 100-200 cops that have to deal with that, and that’s just the reality of things.”

OPD Sergeant Chris Romanowicz said the most common offenses related to Pub Crawl were for disorderly conduct, battery and open intoxicants. Some of the most notable offenses were for fights in large crowds, noise complaints and large party complaints. 

If anyone has information regarding the shooting incident, they are encouraged to contact OPD at 920-236-5700. If anyone has information but wishes to remain anonymous, they are encouraged to contact the Winnebago County Crime Stoppers at 920-231-8477.

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