MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police released the following reports on events from the March 12, 2011 rally at the Capitol. One involves a stolen cell phone while the other includes a movie star.
As for the "brush with Hollywood" moment, this was an encounter about which a great deal of folklore was quickly emerging. Wanting to separate fact from fiction, the officer involved sent out an email:
"Saturday afternoon, I was assigned to the Special Event Team (SET), helping to facilitate the return of the 14 senators and their subsequent march around the Capitol Square. Upon our exit from the basement of the Inn on the Park, we found ourselves in a mass of humanity with no march starting. My SET commander tried to verbally encourage the firefighter bagpipers to start marching, but no one moved, likely because no one could hear anything in that crowd. My SET commander said that we should get the firefighters moving so I started encouraging anyone who looked like a firefighter to start moving. Most firefighters were obvious in that they were wearing turn-out jackets and/or helmets others were less obvious. As I told people to start walking, I grabbed onto the right arm of a small-statured woman who was wearing a hat and looking away from me. I asked, "Are you a firefighter?" and the woman turned her face toward me and said, "No, I'm a movie star." I then looked at the woman's face and saw Susan Sarandon. I could not believe my eyes—nor did I think that it would have been appropriate to seek an autograph at that moment—so I then told her to "just go" and she disappeared into the march."
Around 5:50 p.m. that afternoon, a thief grabbed a cell phone from the lap of a 17-year-old McFarland girl while she sat in her car at the corner of W. Mifflin St. and State St.
A 41-year-old Green Bay woman, in town for the demonstration, witnessed the crime and followed the suspect, who was carrying some type of protest sign. The witness contacted the man (male, white, 25-29 years old, blonde curly hair, wearing a red stocking cap) and asked him about his sign, just to get him talking. She then brought up the fact that he had taken the phone. He refused to give it to the witness, but his stance loosened when several "large union guys" – as the witness described them - showed up. It was at this point the Good Samaritan was able to secure the phone and return it to the McFarland teen. The thief disappeared into the crowd.
Anyone with information on the identity of the thief should call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 266-4016. If the ring pops up, the non-emergency line could be used to report the finding: 266-4275. And anyone seeing a police officer grabbing Susan Sarandon now knows the rest of the story.