A night behind the badge: ride-along with BGPD


Falcon Media Staff

Outside the Bowling Green Police Station

Nia Lambdin, Editor-in-Chief

“Alcohol is the biggest problem Bowling Green faces.”

That’s what Sgt. Andy Mulinix said as I spent four hours riding alongside Mulinix and other officers from Bowling Green Police Division while BGSU students drank and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.

Over the course of just four hours of a typical 10-hour shift with BGPD, I saw some of the biggest problems police deal with every week.

While sitting in the front seat of a BGPD cruiser, I watched as minors and adults got cited for underage drinking and drug use, two people fight in front of Clazel Entertainment and three men be booked in the Wood County Jail on the night of St. Patrick’s Day. 

Ever since coming to BG, I knew about the active nightlife that surrounded the bars downtown during St. Patrick’s Day. I had watched it from the sidelines.

But now, three years later, I wanted to see the nightlife from the perspective of someone whose job is to protect BGSU students and the BG community.

I started my ride along with Sgt. Andy Mulinix at 10:30 p.m.

As soon as I entered the police cruiser, Mulinix was called to help an officer who was chasing a male suspect into Grumpy Dave’s Pub after the suspect physically ran into a car.

Mulinix explained to me the man would not get a ticket for running from police, but if the driver wanted to press charges against the man for damages to his vehicle, then the man would receive a ticket.

After waiting for the driver to come back to Grumpy Dave’s from dropping off a friend, we left the male suspect with other officers in front of Grumpy Dave’s and went to help two undercover cops in Lot 2 near D.P. Dough who had called for backup.

Mulinix and I pulled up in Lot 2 to a car packed with four 17-year-olds and one 18-year-old. The undercover cops found fake IDs on the minors and an open bottle of wine in the car.

My younger sister is 17 years old, so seeing these girls get caught drinking and having fake IDs was a culture shock at this point in the night. I found myself wondering, if this was how the beginning of the night was going, how was this night going to end?

Mulinix said alcohol-related offenses are one of BG’s biggest problems, and BGPD often sees alcohol-related arrests and tickets on the weekends.

“We’ve seen [kids] as young as 14 years old in the bars,” Mulinix said. “The only way in the bars as a minor is with fake (IDs).”

When a group of minors are involved in alcohol-related offenses, police have two options: send them home with a ticket or allow one person to take responsibility for the charge.

The 18-year-old ended up taking responsibility for the charge and was the only person in the car to receive a ticket from BGPD.

Our next call was for a domestic violence call involving two 20-year-olds on North Prospect Street.

I stayed in the car for the beginning of this call because domestic violence calls tend to be “one of the most dangerous calls” police attend to, according to Mulinix.

After talking to one of the women involved at the scene, Mulinix invited me inside the caller’s apartment.

According to Ohio Law, if two people are in a sexual relationship and have lived with each other “within five years prior to the date,” then the person accused of the crime must be taken to jail instead of given a ticket.

In this incident, police said that allegedly, the woman who had called BGPD about a domestic violence situation had caused her partner to hit their head on the corner of a wall, causing a knot to form on their forehead.

After talking to both individuals involved in the domestic violence call, police cuffed the woman and took her to the Wood County Jail to be held until a judge could review her case.

After 40 minutes, I switched officers and was now riding with BGPD Officer Amber Moomey. 

Moomey’s first call-out was to help the undercover cops again after they found five 20-year-olds smoking marijuana in their car parked near North Enterprise Street and Pike Avenue.

Soon after ticketing the 20-year-olds for underage possession of marijuana, we were called to a fight downtown in front of Clazel Entertainment.

Police were quick to arrive at the scene and the fight was under control by the time Moomey and I showed up.

After responding to a fight near the bars downtown, Moomey and I went back to scanning parking lots for people sitting in their cars. She explained that her job that night was to “focus on traffic, downtown and parking lots.”

“As the temperatures get colder, people tend to stay near their cars, especially when they are underage, because they can’t drink in the bars,” Moomey said.

While Moomey had pulled over a driver for allowing their passengers to hang outside the windows, a call came in that a man was unconscious in front of Uptown-Downtown.

We arrived outside the bar to find other BGPD officers arresting a suspect on charges of felony assault after he allegedly stomped on the unconscious man.

Moomey and I transported the man who allegedly stomped on the unconscious man to the Wood County Jail after collecting the witness statements from three men who were there when the crime occurred.

“It was disgusting to watch,” a witness to the alleged stomping said. “I’m not used to seeing stuff like that.”

When we got to the Wood County Jail, I stood outside the booking area waiting for an officer or sergeant to get the suspect in the felony assault case, but the suspect snapped.

“He actually liked me up until I asked him if he had anything in addition to weed or anything that would cause a felony,” Moomey said to officers at the jail. “He just snapped.”

I watched as two officers booked the man and took him into the jail where he would stay until Monday when a judge could hear his case.

Once arriving back in the city, Moomey and I continued to drive around watching and waiting for the next call from dispatch.

I ended the night of fights, felonies and alcohol at 2 a.m. and with a newfound respect for the people who watch over the streets of Bowling Green.