Guardian Angels break up fight; not allowed to press charges

POSTED Monday, November 18, 2013 --- 6: p.m.

They broke up a fight and say Madison police did nothing about it.

The Guardian Angels started a Madison chapter in the summer of 2006 after downtown violence got out of hand. In the years since they've tried to keep a strong presence on downtown streets, and intervene when they thought necessary.

Over the weekend they say police didn't follow up after a fight. Police say it was too close to call.
Patrolling the night streets in their red berets, the guardian angels have one goal:

"Some of the Guardian Angels came upon some people being assaulted. They tried to step in to break up the parties, when that happened people turned on them from both groups and actually attacked the Guardian Angels," says Chapter Leader, Joe Oakland.

Oakland says when he ran up, one Angel was on the ground being assaulted, and he didn't come out unscathed either.

They managed to detain the group, placed them under citizens arrest, until police got there. But they say the police just let them go. No arrests, no tickets.

"It seems to be sending a message to a lot of people out there that this kind of behavior will be tolerated."

A spokesman with Madison Police says the department can't talk much about the situation until the report comes in but he says at the time, officers on scene didn't have enough probable cause to make any arrests and they are still investigating.
He adds that Madison PD has a great working relationship with the Angels and even awarded them a 2011 citizen recognition award.

Oakland says he just wants someone to be held responsible for the punches he took while trying to make Madison a safer place.

"We told him that we'd like to press charges, they basically said that because we basically put ourselves in that position we were not able to press charges."

Madison PD says it could take a few days to process the report and figure out exactly what officers say happened.


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