Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 4
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Walla Walla police crack down on wheat fields shenanigans

Walla Walla police officers are cracking down on students hanging out in private wheat fields. Walla Walla police crack down on wheat fields shenanigans | Illustration by Casey Roberts

On Saturday evening, Sept. 15, police confronted two different groups of first-year students in separate incidents.

The first group of seven Whitman students had ridden their bikes out to wheat fields north of town

“Well, a bunch of us went biking out to the wheat fields…. Originally we went for the sunset but we were way too late. We didn’t know that [walking through the fields] was illegal,” said first-year Paige Devlin, who was one of the seven students present.

The students were sitting and standing along the edge of the road with their bicycles near a large pile of hay bales, waiting for a friend to pick up an ill member of the group when the police arrived.

According to Taylor Overturf who was also present for the encounter with the police by the time the police showed up it was “basically dark.”

“The first [officer] had his lights flashing” when he showed up and a second officer showed up “shortly after that,” said Devlin.

“I was wondering why there were two police cars instead of just one,” said fellow biker, first-year Gabby Brandt. “We weren’t causing any trouble.”

Despite the seemingly unnecessary extra cop car the interaction between the students and the officers was largely non-confrontational.

“I mean, [the cops] had a good reason [for confronting us], because if people leave trash it could ruin the tractors, and if people are smoking near the hay bales it could start a fire, said Overturf.

“And it was private property,” added Devlin, although all the students present agreed that there was no ‘private property’ or ‘no trespassing’ sign anywhere to be found.

“[The officers] said there had been incidents on the other side of town involving Whitman students and hay bales: whatever that means,” said Brandt.

Just the same, the interaction left several students disillusioned.

“I thought that every Whitman student [went to see the sunset in the wheat fields] when they got here,” said Overturf. “It’s sad that good, old-fashioned fun has disappeared in place of getting sued.”

“I kind of think [the police] just don’t like us because we go to Whitman,” said Brandt.

“I feel like they were really trying to make it into a learning experience,” said Devlin.

“They didn’t ask for our names or anything. I didn’t feel like we were being interrogated or
anything. They were nice,” said Overturf.

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    Heywood JablomeyJan 8, 2008 at 3:26 am

    Stupid, smelly hippies!