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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Student arrested, charged with using police scanner

University Police charged a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member with using a police scanner as a lookout device.

Matthew D. Sullivan, 19, was charged with unlawful use of police communications after officers saw him stuff a scanner into his front pocket at the SAE house on Fraternity Row during a party Tuesday morning. About 125 people attended the party, several of whom were underage and trying to throw away alcoholic drinks when officers arrived, police said.

UPD did not arrest anyone else at the party.

Owning a police scanner is legal, but you can only use it in certain ways. According to Florida State Statute 843.167(1)(a), you can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor if:

  • You use the scanner to listen to police communications while you commit another crime.
  •  You use the scanner to evade police after you commit another crime.

Nathan Kenney, president of the UF chapter of SAE, said he was out of town Tuesday and did not know the details of the arrest. He had not made a decision Wednesday night as to whether Sullivan would be punished.

Contact Tyler Jett at

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