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Sunday, September 25, 2022
Stabbings, arrests mar 2011 Mifflin Block Party

news: After a pair of stabbings at Saturday?s event, city officials have said the Mifflin Street Block Party could face major changes.

Stabbings, arrests mar 2011 Mifflin Block Party

The future of the Mifflin Street Block Party could be in jeopardy after several acts of violence, including the stabbing of UW-Madison student, at Saturday's block party.

A 21-year-old UW-Madison student suffered life-threatening injuries after being stabbed multiple times around 5 p.m. Saturday, Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain said.

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, who represents the West Mifflin Street area where the block party took place, confirmed the victim is going to make a complete recovery. The student was stabbed multiple times in the abdomen, according to Verveer, who said he saw the victim being taken into the ambulance.

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The victim is now reported as being in fair condition, Verveer said.

""I've attended many block parties over the years and with the exception of the 1996 riots, this was certainly the worst in terms of what I witnessed and of course the absolute worst being the stabbing,"" Verveer said.

In regards to the future of the block party, Verveer said discussions about this weekend must take place as soon as possible including involving future Mifflin residents. Verveer said those residents are the key to what will transpire with the block party.

""I would like to say that optimistically the party would go away, at least the party in its present form will go away,"" Verveer said. ""I don't think anyone can argue with a straight face that there's a redeeming value in taking it in as a whole as to what transpired this weekend.""

Verveer said he would guess Mayor Paul Soglin and other city officials' upcoming discussions might be on how to end the block party.

""I know that as long as the focus is drinking, Mayor Soglin said the party should be ended if the party's focus is going to continue to be drinking,"" Verveer said.

Police were able to detain three men fleeing the scene of the first stabbing, including a 22-year-old from Green Bay who is believed to be the person who stabbed the victim, DeSpain said.

The suspect is also possibly responsible for kicking another man in the jaw when he tried to stop the suspect after the stabbing, DeSpain said.

Police have not released any the names of any suspects or victims.

There was a second stabbing incident around 7:30 p.m., in which DeSpain said a victim suffered non-life threatening injuries. Police have not arrested anyone involved with the incident.

""In the 42 years of the block party I never heard of anybody being stabbed so when it happened twice I was just devastated,"" Verveer said.

Verveer said although there were many factors that might have contributed to the acts of violence and high numbers of citations, the newly permitted street drinking could also be a factor.

""In retrospect, we should not have allowed the open intoxicant law to be suspended and then certainly at the same time allow carry-ins,"" Verveer said.

As of 9 p.m. Saturday, 160 people had been arrested, DeSpain said. Police said most of the people arrested were cited and then released for things such as having glass on the street, underage drinking and depositing human waste.

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