Madison's mayor: 'Conform to community standards, or you're going to leave'
MADISON- Madison mayor is responding to concerns that his city isn't safe following an unprovoked attack on UW-Madison Badgers running back Montee Ball early Wednesday morning.
Witnesses said five men jumped Ball about 2:15 a.m. Wednesday in the 500 block of University Ave. Ball was with two friends, who had walked ahead. Ball was knocked to the ground and kicked in the head and torso. Ball suffered a concussion from the attack.
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure" that Wisconsin's Capitol and second largest city is a safe place.
"Part of the reason there is attention focused on this (Ball attack) is because this such an exceptional incident for us," said Soglin. "We've had two homicides this year, for a city of 230,000, that's very low."
Soglin told the show that Madison has a message for Montee Ball's attackers, and any other violent criminals: "Either conform to community standards, or you're going to leave the community."
Madison's mayor said that police are "actively pursuing some leads" in the Ball investigation, but wouldn't elaborate any further.
The attack comes just over a month away from the Fall 2012 academic schedule starting for UW-Madison students.
Soglin said that students -- around 42,000 enrolled -- coming back at the end of August or beginning of September should cut down on this type of crime.
"The more people that are present, the more people who are on the streets -- the safer the community," said Soglin.
He said the city's law enforcements community is focused on dealing with these "thugs" and "hoodlums."
The Madison Police Department has not ruled out the possibility that Ball was the target of a premeditated attack early Wednesday in the 500 block of University Ave.
Madison police haven't arrested anyone in connection to that attack.