Parking violation ends up in a search for drugs and arrest
A combination of St. Joseph Police and Missouri Western Public Safety officers descended upon a maroon Lexus parked in Lot K on the afternoon of Oct. 19.
The officers, who numbered no less than 10 total, including a K9 unit, had a search warrant for the vehicle parked at the north end of lot K2.
â€œAll I can really say is we are conducting an investigation and carrying out a search warrant on this vehicle for illegal items,â€ Brian McKlintick, St. Joseph police officer said on the scene. â€œFor drugs and drug-related items.â€
A public safety incident report made no mention of finding any drugs; however, the officers did find a loaded .45 caliber handgun, which is a violation of the Missouri Western State University Student Handbook.
The Lexus GS130 did not have a Missouri Western parking permit. Missouri Western Public Safety arrested a man for disorderly conduct after providing false information in conjunction with the vehicle, according to a public safety incident report.
At that time it was discovered that there were 15 unpaid parking citations associated with the Lexus. It was unknown at press time whether the man was charged.
According to the Student Handbook, instructions of any Public Safety staff should be followed immediately and without argument.
â€œApparently there was a discussion over a parking violation, which led to a confrontation with a public safety officer, which resulted in an arrest for disorderly conduct,â€ said Dan Nicoson, vice-president for University Advancement. â€œIn the process of that arrest, information became available that led to further investigation.â€
At approximately 4 p.m., as many as seven officers meticulously searched the trunk, engine, undercarriage and inside of the vehicle. An officer then brought in a K9 dog to go through the trunk and around the outside of the car before allowing it to enter the interior.
However, according to witnesses, the police activity began hours before the search.
â€œAbout 12:30 p.m., I saw a couple of police cars (near the Lexus),â€ Western sophomore Sandra Auxier said. â€œThey were talking to a man in his 20s.â€
Auxier said she was surprised to find that the police activity had escalated by 4 p.m.
â€œI thought (the situation) would be all cleared up by now,â€ she said.
The officers concluded their search and restoration of the car at approximately 4:30 p.m..