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Arrest in brutal attack of UW Madison college student, law officer

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For Jim Piwowarczyk

MADISON, Wis. – The Madison Police Department has arrested a 26-year-old Madison man in connection with the brutal attack on a University of Wisconsin-Madison College student that occurred Sunday morning.

According to Dane County Jail booking records, Brandon Andre Thompson was arrested on September 6, 2023 at 12:24 am on charges of first degree reckless injury, first degree strangulation and first degree sexual assault. Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes confirmed that Thompson is the suspect in a late afternoon news conference.

According to Barnes, Thompson was seen by a witness at the scene of the attack, but claimed he was an “innocent bystander” and then left in a vehicle. Police were able to spot the vehicle’s license plate on video, Barnes said.

They learned the vehicle and Thompson were pulled over for a no-registration offense in Fitchburg, Wis., and body camera footage showed Thompson wearing similar clothing to what is seen in other videos, which showed him walking behind the victim before the attack. Barnes said.

Barnes described the suspect as “Brandon A. Thompson,” saying he is “a black male. He is 26 years old. He is 6-1 and weighs approximately 210 pounds.” The boss called him a coward.

He said he believes Thompson lived in Madison; Online records also show Thompson with an address in Brooklyn, Wis., near Madison, and previous addresses near the UW-Milwaukee campus.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison college student was left in critical condition Sunday morning after what police believed to be a brutal and random attack downtown, Madison police say.

Barnes, at a news conference Sunday, called it a “serious attack.” He had “severe signs of physical trauma,” according to the chief. He said medical professionals are working to stabilize the victim, so the extent of his injuries is still unclear, Barnes said. They have not yet spoken to the victim, he said.

“The woman was found in the 500 block of W. Wilson St. around 3:20 a.m. A person who lived in the area called police after noticing that the victim had been severely beaten,” he wrote the police. There is a sidewalk and there are apartment complexes where the woman was found, Barnes said.

“The victim was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He remains in critical condition as of Sunday afternoon,” police wrote. “Detectives and investigators are scouring the area for biological evidence and re-examining the area on Sunday.”

This article originally appeared on Wisconsin right now and reprinted with permission.

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