Madison police have not provided the name, gender, rank or any other information about an employee seen in bystander video that appears to show the person engaging in sexual activity last month in an unmarked squad car in the parking lot of a Southeast Side Farm & Fleet.
But four weeks after the Sept. 16 incident, the Wisconsin State Journal has been able to confirm with one current and one former department employee that the person in the video is 15-year department veteran Lt. Reginald Patterson, currently the West District’s head of patrol.
Patterson was placed on paid leave shortly after the video became public on the day of the incident, and in a short statement released late that night, a spokesperson said the department had identified the person and an investigation was underway. Police officials refused to provide any other information, but the statement said the department “is taking this matter very seriously and is committed to transparency and upholding the public’s trust.”
Patterson was announced as the West District lieutenant of patrol on July 15, 2019. A short bio posted to the department’s website says that as an officer, he worked patrol in the Downtown before joining the department’s Crime Prevention Gang Unit. He was also a detective for seven years working financial crimes and in the Violent Crime Unit and the Dane County Narcotics Task Force.
The bio says “he has been involved in several community and department initiatives such as the Financial Abuse Special Team (FAST), Racial Disparity Impact Committee, and is currently Co-coordinator for the Madison Police Department Peer Support Team.” He is listed as having a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in criminal justice.
He did not respond to multiple requests for comment via his work email and phone number.
Last month the man who captured the video, Marcel Scott, said he noticed the squad car parked in a side parking lot at Farm & Fleet, 2202 Stoughton Road, and then saw “white legs pop up in the back of the police car.”
“You could see the images of two bodies,” he said.
Scott said he walked to the front of the vehicle and saw a person on top of the woman, he said. He described her as in her 20s or 30s with blue hair. He described the officer as an older, bald, Black male with a mustache.
When the people inside the squad saw he was taking video, they stopped what they were doing and the woman began to cover herself. The officer can later be seen briefly getting out of the driver’s side rear door of the squad before getting back in again. Scott said he assumed the officer was planning to get in the driver’s side front door, but then got back in the car as Scott recorded him and climbed over the front seat to get to the wheel and drive away.
Scott repeatedly refers to the woman in the video as a prostitute, but Police Chief Shon Barnes said a week after the incident that police have been in contact with the woman and that she is not a prostitute.
In its Sept. 16 statement, the department referred to the employee in the video as an “officer,” but the State Journal confirmed soon after that the employee is not represented by the city’s police union, the Madison Professional Police Officers Association. Because the association represents all officers on the force but no supervisors, it confirmed — as the newspaper has learned independently — that the employee is of higher rank.
Want your car stolen or home burglarized? Here's how to make thieves' jobs easier
For years, police have warned residents to lock their vehicles and homes to discourage opportunistic young thieves. At times, that advice appears to be falling on deaf ears.
Janesville police said they have seen a recent spree of thefts of vehicles left unlocked with keys inside.
Unlocked doors led to a stolen vehicle and a stolen handgun overnight Thursday into Friday on the Near West Side, Madison police reported.
A spree of thefts from vehicles overnight Sunday into Monday included smashed windows and stolen purses, Madison police reported.
Fitchburg police have identified the two people arrested in a vehicle theft, interrupted burglary and shots fired incident in Cross Plains early Wednesday morning.
A 15-year-old boy was arrested Thursday, two days after fleeing the scene of a Far West Side burglary with others in a stolen vehicle, Madison police reported.
An unlocked SUV with a garage door opener inside of it was stolen from a Southwest Side home, along with several wallets, Madison police reported.
Town of Madison police officers found the stolen vehicle at a 7-Eleven on Park Street and arrested an 18-year-old male occupant, while a male juvenile ran from the vehicle and was not apprehended, police said.
The driveway vehicle was unlocked because it was believed the owner would move the car into the garage, but the car was not moved and thieves opened it, activated the garage door opener, entered the home and stole keys for both the driveway vehicle and an additional car in the garage, police said.
No injuries were reported in the crashes police responded to on Sunday.
One of the trio, a 15-year-old from Madison is wanted by several jurisdictions, with Madison police having probable cause to arrest him for burglary while armed and for dropping a handgun outside of Leopold Elementary School on Oct. 22.
The case shows that recent arrests in Dane County and in Sauk County haven’t ended such crimes, as police had warned
"Stolen cars -- when recovered -- often have been damaged and many smell of pot, so on several levels people have been victimized."