Tuesday, October 3, 2023

New details about True Blue Parking Garage arrest revealed by MTSU police chief


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Story by Brian Branch | Contributing Writer

Middle Tennessee State University Police Department Chief Edwin Kaup revealed previously unknown details Thursday concerning an arrest in True Blue Parking Garage on Oct. 5. Witnesses captured the arrest on video, sparking controversy about the responding officers’ behavior.

Leading up to the arrest, the suspects forced their way through the True Blue Avenue Garage gate, damaging the traffic control arm.

MTSU Police stopped a vehicle matching the description given of the suspect vehicle wanted for damaging the gate. During the stop, responding officers smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle.

“When asked to exit the vehicle, one occupant refused,” Kaup said. When the suspect refused, officers attempted to remove him from the vehicle. 

‘During this struggle, the rear seat passenger, took a bag fled out the back and tossed it over the side,” Kaup said. “What was inside that bag was a bottle of liquor, cocaine and a 9mm with an extended magazine, fully loaded.”

Kaup did not know the intentions of the vehicle’s occupants.

“All I know is they did not belong on the campus,” he said. “They destroyed university property and then they fought with the police. The only force used other than throwing him to the ground is that he (the suspect) got kneed, and he got pepper sprayed.”

Before the meeting, a small group of protestors from the Young Democratic Socialists of America gathered in the Student Union and attended the meeting to hear Kaup speak and voice their concerns.

When questioned about the odor of marijuana constituting probable cause to stop the suspect vehicle given the availability of legal CBD sold in the area, Kaup said the initial crime in question was not the marijuana but the vandalism of the parking garage gate and trespassing.

When asked about a motive for the incident, Kaup stated that no motive was established.

To contact News Editor Matthew Giffin and Assistant News Editor Kailee Shores, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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