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HomeBreaking NewsArrest Made in Brutal Attack of UW Madison College Student

Arrest Made in Brutal Attack of UW Madison College Student


The Madison Police Department has arrested a 26-year-old Madison man for the brutal attack on a UW-Madison College Student which happened early Sunday morning.

According to Dane County Jail booking records, Brandon Andre Thompson was arrested on Sept 6, 2023, at 12:24 a.m. on charges of first-degree reckless injury, strangulation, and first-degree sexual assault. Madison’s 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 he 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 that the vehicle, and Thompson, were stopped for a non-registration offense in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, and body camera footage showed Thompson was wearing clothing similar to that 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 of age. He is 6-1, and he weighs 210 pounds approximately.” The chief called him cowardly.

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

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

Barnes, speaking in a news conference Sunday, called it a “severe attack.” She had “severe signs of physical trauma,” according to the chief. He said medical professionals are working to stabilize the victim, and so it’s not yet clear the extent of her injuries, Barnes said. They haven’t spoken to the victim yet, he said.

“The woman was found along the 500 block of W. Wilson St. around 3:20 a.m. A person living in the area called for police after noticing the victim was severely beaten,” police wrote. 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. She remains in critical condition as of Sunday afternoon,” police wrote.  “Detectives and investigators are swabbing the area for biological evidence and recanvassing the area on Sunday.”

Jim Piwowarczyk
Jim Piwowarczyk is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Wisconsin Right Now.

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