The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, July 11, 1991, Summer, Page 6&7, Image 6

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    Cops on two wheels
Cannondale Cop searches streets for trouble
By Robert Richardson
Senior Reporter
ark and I met on our mountain
bikes about 10 p.m. Tuesday,
between O and P streets on
Centennial Mall. Our plan was to look
for trouble — anything out of the ordi
nary that didn’t look quite right.
By 1 a.m., we had seen quite a bit of
trouble that resulted in five confronta
tions and one arrest — and Mark said it
was a slow night.
Mark is Lincoln Police Officer Mark
Domangue, badge number 303 of the
foot patrol division. He is commonly
referred to as a Cannondalc Cop.
Domang uc became a comm issioned
officer in January of ’78 and has been
on the foot patrol division since 1987.
Two years later, bicycles were intro
duced to the Lincoln police force.
Domangue said the Cannondale bikes
were a gift from a Lincoln business,
Bike Pedalers, and a local radio station
that helped coordinate donations and
I T-—1—
fund raising.
The result was an increase in the
popularity of the foot patrol division.
According to Domanguc, several offi
cers that have applied to work the divi
sion in the past have been denied be
cause of space limitations.
One of the main problems that con
cerns Domangue about his downtown
route arc the teen-agers who park along
O Street between 17th and 27th streets.
Domangue said there is no ordinance
that prohibits them from “hanging out,”
but that some of the teens, litter and
break bottles, which annoys business
owners in the area.
That was to be our first stop. But cn
route to the area, Domanguc noticed a
group of transients hanging around
Hcrm’s Liquor Store, 1644 P St. We
quickly biked down an alley and watched
as they got their money together for a
bottle of alcohol. Domangue figured
they were on their way downtown to
drink their bottle — and consuming
alcohol in a public place is illegal.
Wc tailed the foursome—always at
least a block behind — to an apartment
at 18th and M streets, where Doman
guc questioned them. One member of
the group, Anthony, walked away, and
Domangue followed to question him.
Domanguc called the station to inquire
about Anthony and found he had six
outstanding arrest warrants ranging from
consumption of alcohol on publ ic prop
erty to assault.
As Anthony was being handcuffed
to wait for a car ride downtown, he
figured me to be a college student and
addressed me in a drunken, toothless
slur: “I hope your professor gives you
an ‘A’,” then looking at Domanguc,
“‘A’ for asshole like you.”
I witnessed this verbal abuse di
rected toward Domanguc all night and
wondered how he was able to ignore it
and not take it personally, day after
‘‘You just have to have patience,”
Domangue said. “A lot of patience.”
Another thing that helps Domanguc
keep on the job is that he knows he’s ar
effective part of the police force.
“I think it (having bikes) has helped
tremendously,” Domangue said. “For
one thing, the officers are more inter
ested in riding bikes downtown. We
get around a lot faster than on foot and
usually better off than a cruiser down
town, because of all the traffic and
restrictions on a car.”
But no matter how effective bikes
arc downtown, there are still a few
things they just can’t do, like carry a
radar detector.
While riding down O Street, Do
manguc and I witnessed a motorcycle
speeding down the street at more than
40 miles per hour. With Domangue
unable to chase the rider, the unknown
man never knew how close to being
caught he was.
“There arc times when a cruiser
would come in handy,” Domanguc said.
At no time did Domangue show a
hint of disgust for wrongdoers. He
handled them all with respect and kept
his cool despite the adverse conditions
he constantly faced. Domanguc left
most of his customers with smiles on
their faces — all except Anthony.
“I like all the people I gel to contact
and talk with,” Domanguc said. “Some
arc negative and some arc positive. I
try to make more positive than nega
tive. You know even when you have to
write somebody a citation it doesn’t
have to be a real negative encounter.”
In fact, Domanguc said that having
the opportunity to meet a lot of people
is probably the best part of his job.
“I guess riding a bike and covering
the area downtown and talking to all
the people, watching the people, is a lot
of fun,” Domanguc said.
Domanguc’s shift ended about 1:30
a.m. That is when the Cannondalc Cop
went back to the station and I went
I know the next lime that I’m down
town I’ll look over both shoulders be
fore urinating in an alley.
Clockwise from left:
Domangue takes a break during the afternoon
while on patrol in downtown. Domangue is one of
six bike patrol officers.
Officer Domangue watches 0 Street for anything
out of the unusual. *
After pulling the suspect over for having no
plates Domangue discovered the motorcycle was
stolen. The suspect was then arrested and a
cruiser picked him up.
Two unsuspecting pedestrians (who wished not
to be identified) crossed the street against the
light without realizing officer Domangue was
waiting for them. They received a warning for the
Photos by Shaun Sartin
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