Student queried about scuffle

MU official conducts an interview about incident at game.
Friday, April 29, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:08 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

A representative of the MU Office of Administrative Affairs interviewed a University of Kansas student Thursday who says he was assaulted by MU Police Chief Jack Watring during a scuffle over a sign at a March 6 basketball game at Mizzou Arena.

Chris Kaufman said he spoke with Lisa Wimmenauer, associate director for Administrative Affairs, in a private meeting. She also interviewed his friends Christian Green and Rich Littrell, who were with him at the game.

“Her main purpose in coming was to make sure that we were heard,” Kaufman said. “She just wanted to be fair, which I definitely appreciate.”

Kaufman learned in the interview that other witnesses, including the arena official who gave the KU students permission to display their sign, have given statements to Wimmenauer.

Kaufman said he was told that Wimmenauer will compile her findings and report them to a vice-chancellor, who will then make a decision about whether to discipline Watring.

Wimmenauer was unavailable for comment.

Mary Jo Banken, director of the MU News Bureau, confirmed the investigation is ongoing through the Office of Administrative Affairs under Vice Chancellor Jackie Jones. But she said the news bureau would release no information about the findings or how the investigation is being conducted until the process is complete.

No timeline exists for finishing the investigation.

The interviews come almost two months after Kaufman filed a complaint, alleging that Watring grabbed his shirt and jerked him forward after telling him to remove his sign from an arena balcony.

KU alumnus Andrew Wymore, who was also at the game, faces a trespassing charge as a result of the incident.

Wymore was arrested on suspicion of trespassing after he was ejected from the game and tried to re-enter the arena. The case has been transferred from the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office to the municipal prosecutor’s office.

Municipal Court clerk Shara Meyer said city prosecutor Rose Wibbenmeyer filed trespass charges on April 1, but has not notified Wymore of a new court date.

The jail has refunded to Kaufman the $500 bond payment he made for Wymore.

Meyer said bond normally follows cases transferred from state to municipal courts. “I don’t know why the bond wasn’t forwarded to us in this case,” Meyer said.

Circuit Clerk Cheryl Whitmarsh said Wymore’s case was filed in the wrong jurisdiction.

“If we are not specifically instructed to forward bond by the prosecutor, who chose not to pursue this case, we have no authority to hold that bond, and it is refunded,” she said.

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