Phone mistaken for gun, fake ID roundup from KU move-in day and more news and notes

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

A Lawrence police car sits outside a crime scene in this file photo from 2009.

When someone reported that two individuals were standing on the roadside near the Baker Wetlands, one of them holding a gun to a kneeling person’s head, law enforcement hurried to the scene Thursday evening.

On arrival, Lawrence police officers and Douglas County sheriff’s deputies found that the only shooting going on was the shooting of photos. Car photos, to be specific.

Patrick Compton, a spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department, said a passer-by mistook a phone for a gun and called in to report the three individuals next to two vehicles near North 1250 Road and East 1350 Road at 6:10 p.m. Thursday.

Apparently the area near the Baker University Wetlands Discovery Center is a good place to get photos of cars from various angles — including looking up from a kneeling position on the ground.

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Thursday was dorm move-in day at the University of Kansas, and some students didn’t wait long to explore their surroundings.

From Thursday night into the early morning hours of Friday, there were five incidents of Lawrence police giving individuals notices to appear for fake IDs, Compton said: four at bars, and one during an investigation of a vehicle.

According to the 24-hour log of calls to police for that time period, all five were in the 1300 block of Ohio Street.

“Everyone should understand that police do frequent bar checks in Lawrence, and if there is reasonable suspicion that a crime is occurring, just occurred or is about to occur, an officer can demand identification,” Compton said in an email. “In these instances, we highly recommend that these individuals be cooperative and forthcoming with law enforcement.”

Additionally, in response to a tweet seeking advice for incoming KU freshmen, Lawrence police tweeted Wednesday night: “Don’t give all your financial and personal info to a Chinese website to get a fake ID ‘that scans’. Also don’t hand your fake ID from China to a popo and try to pass it off as real. Just because ‘it scans’ doesn’t mean it’s ‘on file with the state'”.

• • •

School also started up this week for the Lawrence high schools, bringing along busy dropoff and pickup times — such as 3:26 p.m. Thursday, when police were called to investigate a reported criminal threat at Free State High School.

Officers found the call to be a disagreement between parents picking up their kids, and there was no probable cause of any crimes committed, Compton said.

• • •

On Friday afternoon, police responded to a residence near Schwegler Elementary in reference to a man who was possibly suicidal, Compton said in an email to media. Officers were able to talk the man out of the house without incident, he said.

Parts of the 1600 block of West 22nd Street were shut down for about half an hour, and the elementary school was placed on lockdown as a precaution, Compton said.

If you are thinking about suicide, the Kansas Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255 (veterans, press 1) or, in Lawrence, 785-841-2345. Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center also has a 24-hour hotline at 785-843-9192.

More resources are available at

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Last Friday, Aug. 16, an accident with a car left a cyclist with injuries initially thought to be critical.

Later the same evening, though, she was expected to be released from the hospital, police told the Journal-World at the time. It was unclear whether any citations had been issued in connection.

The report on the accident was completed Thursday but was not yet approved Friday, Compton told the Journal-World via email. The Journal-World will follow up when the report is available.

Contact Mackenzie Clark

Have a story idea, news or information to share? Contact public safety reporter Mackenzie Clark:


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