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Madison police lieutenant videotaped engaging in sexual relations in his squad car resigns

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A Madison police lieutenant recorded by a bystander having sexual relations with a woman in his squad car in the parking lot of a Farm and Fleet resigned Wednesday, the Madison Police Department announced.

An internal police investigation found Lt. Reginald Patterson "violated multiple department policies" in the Sept. 16 incident "and a separation from service was deemed the appropriate action," Police Chief Shon Barnes said in a statement.

Reginald Patterson (copy)


Police department spokesperson Stephanie Fryer said the investigation was completed Monday and Barnes was prepared to seek Patterson's firing before the city's Police and Fire Commission, which under state law is responsible for the hiring, firing and discipline of police.

"A PFC hearing would require a full trial," she said in an email, and that could have taken as long as a year, during which time Patterson would have remained on paid leave. She said placing Patterson on unpaid leave was not an option under civil service rules.

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office found no crime had occurred in the incident in a side parking lot of the store at 2202 Stoughton Road. Barnes has previously said the woman involved is not a prostitute.

Last month the man who captured the video, Marcel Scott, said he was in the store's parking lot when he 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 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. Patterson 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 Patterson 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.

Police had declined to confirm Patterson was the man in the video until Wednesday, but the Wisconsin State Journal reported his identity Oct. 14 after confirming it with one current and one former department employee.

In its initial Sept. 16 statement on the incident, the police department referred to Patterson as an "officer," but the State Journal confirmed soon after that he was not a member of the department's police union and occupied a higher rank than officer.

On Oct. 20, in response to a public records request by the State Journal, the department identified Patterson as the only department employee then on paid leave.

Patterson, a 15-year veteran of the department, was most recently the West Police District's head of patrol.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway's office declined to comment on the case.

Barnes during an in-person interview with the State Journal last week declined to answer questions about the Patterson case and said he couldn't estimate when the department's investigation would conclude.

Recent stolen-vehicle cases

Madison-area police continued to respond to multiple stolen-vehicle complaints this winter.

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A 16-year-old boy from Madison was identified as the shooter from the Dec. 9 incident and arrested during the execution of search warrants. 

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The stolen car was left on Schenk Street, and a witness told officers that four people got out of the car and ran behind some houses.

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The car was found nearby shortly after with the child safe inside. 


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