Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – July 31st, 2014
From the Game Commission
• Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that over the Fourth of July weekend, several boating, shooting-range and state-game-lands violations were identified, such as: life-jacket violations; shooting more rounds than permitted at the shooting range; shooting at the range without a permit or hunting license; shooting at the range before noon on Sunday; and ATV violations.
• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports charges have been filed against an East Springfield man for hunting over three hours past the end of legal hours during the early part of spring turkey season.
• Crawford County WCO Jacob J. Olexsak reports that guilty pleas have been entered in two separate cases that involved golf-course employees killing geese unlawfully in order to keep them off of the course property.
• Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports he is aware of several situations where individuals who own a camp or residence next to game lands routinely mow or maintain the game lands next to them like they own it. One of these individuals was interviewed recently after he had used a riding lawn mower to mow one path onto the adjoining game lands and used a gas powered trimmer to clear a second path that ran a considerable distance through the game lands. Charges are pending in this case, and similar situations will be investigated.
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports two black bears were struck and killed by motor vehicles on Interstate 79 within two weeks of one another, and both within one mile of the Grove City Factory Outlet Mall. Over the past six years, six bears have been killed on the 10- mile stretch of I-79 and another on Route 258, which runs parallel to I-79.
• Venango County WCO John A. McKellop reports that often the summer months bring out different kinds of violations than he usually sees in hunting season. This past month, he’s investigated cases involving field driving and cutting “cookies” in farm fields, illegal treestands, various dumping cases and illegal ATV and dirt-bike usage on Game Commission Cooperator properties.
• Warren County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that charges were recently successfully adjudicated against a Tidioute woman for dumping refuse on State Game Land 309 and a Sharpsville man for operating an ATV on a forest service road not authorized for such activity, and without a helmet, without registration and without insurance on the ATV. The Tidioute woman is facing approximately $121 in fines and costs. The Sharpsville man is facing approximately $540 for his multiple offenses. Unlawful ATV operation in and around the Allegheny National Forest, and unlawful disposing of refuse will continue to be enforced throughout the summer.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• While participating in a Boat Safety Detail during the Luke Bryan concert in the Pittsburgh (Three Rivers) area during the overnight of June 21-22, Allegheny County officers arrested two individuals during separate incidents for boating under the influence. Also numerous citations and warnings were issued for safety and operational violations.
• Officers stopped a motorboat for traveling above slow no wake speed too close to a stopped watercraft on June 28 on the Monongahela River. Upon further investigation the operator was placed in custody for operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol. The operator was taken for chemical testing of which it was determined the operator had a BAC above the legal limit to operate a watercraft.
• Officers stopped a motorboat for traveling above slow no wake speed in a prohibited area on the Allegheny River in the area of Point State Park on July 3. The operator was placed in custody for operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol. The operator was transported to Pittsburgh P.D. Zone 6 for chemical testing. It was determined the operator had a BAC above the legal limit to operate a watercraft.
• Officers stopped a motorboat for a lighting violation on the Monongahela River on July 4. Upon further investigation and several field sobriety tests, the operator was placed under arrest for suspicion of operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. The individual was transported to Pittsburgh Police Department’s Zone 6 for processing and a chemical breath test was administered providing a BAC of 0.151 percent. Charges have been filed.
From the Game Commission
• Adams County WCO Cory M. Ammerman reports that an individual received multiple summary citations including disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, and various game-law citations. These were brought on as a result of his actions which caused agricultural damage to a farmer’s field.
• Perry County WCO Kevin Anderson reported that drug and alcohol use has increased on the game lands. Recently, three people were charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia on State Game Land 170.
• Blair County WCO William Brehun reports that charges were filed on an individual for operating his Jeep on Altoona City Water Authority property, Bellwood Reservoir. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge. He had been found crossing the spillway and making his own trails. This property is restricted against such activity.
• Bedford County WCO Jeremy Coughenour reports that citations were filed against an Osterburg man for possessing two live deer that were taken from the wild as fawns. Fines and restitution for this case could total more than $1,500.
• Adams County WCO Darren David reports that three teenage, or young adult, males were seen taking part in the killing of a beaver in early June. According to several witnesses fishing along a stream in close proximity to the three, one of the suspects bludgeoned the beaver to death with a log while the others assisted and then carried off the carcass. Although there are leads in the case, anyone with information is urged to contact the Game Commission’s Southcentral Region headquarters.
• Cumberland County WCO John Fetchkan reports that a Shippensburg resident was charged with shooting two juvenile Canada geese (goslings) that were in a pond by his house. The shooter said that he didn’t want them there because they had been leaving droppings on his lawn.
• Perry County WCO Steven Hower responded to a report of hunters suspected of not complying with these regulations concerning groundhogs. Hower and Deputy Scott Hoyer encountered two men in a motor vehicle in a field with a loaded rifle, no orange hats, unable to produce identification, and one of the men was unable to produce his hunting license. Citations were filed.
• York County WCO Kyle Jury reported that with the summer season upon us, recreational activity has picked up on the 3,000-plus acres of state game lands in the northern York County area. All ponds posted as propagation areas are now open to fishing, and using unpowered boats is permitted. Also, Fish and Boat Commission regulations apply to these waters just as they would anywhere else in the state. Some common violations this time of year include possession of alcohol or controlled substances on state game lands, damage to property and littering.
• York County WCO Steve Knickel reports that an individual has pleaded guilty to all four charges brought against him in regard to the illegal, closed-season taking of two deer, with the fines totaling $3,536.50.
• Huntingdon County WCO Richard Macklem has been assisting the Fish & Boat Commission with patrolling Raystown Lake. They encountered multiple violations such as unregistered boats, not enough life jackets and a few BUI arrests.
• Snyder County WCO Harold Malehorn is investigating a number of game lands use violations. They include driving on closed roads, damage to property and removing rocks and firewood.
• Mifflin County WCO Jeff Mock reports that one case involving homeowners killing wildlife for no legally justifiable reason has been adjudicated, and a second is pending.
• York County WCO Shawn Musser reports that an individual was charged with unlawfully killing two Canada geese out of season with an unlawful device, as well as not having the migratory-bird license or federal Duck Stamp. Even if waterfowl is shot out of season, it is an additional charge to not have the license and stamp.
• York County WCO Shawn Musser reports that with the warmer weather, unlawful activity such as mudding and bonfires have increased on game lands and co-op properties. Musser put out a fire on a Monday afternoon that had been burning since the weekend and the coals were very hot – so hot that the vegetation was starting to burn about 2 feet from the actual coals.
• Blair County WCO Albert Zellner reports that the illegal operation of ATVs and snowmobiles have caused patrols to be stepped up in the area. Damage to game lands and alcohol possession charges have also been processed on three separate game lands within his district.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Following the closure of an afterhours special enforcement detail, Huntingdon County Sgt. Craig Garman was traveling on SR305 near Alexandria and saw a pickup truck being operated in a careless manner. Following this vehicle for a short distance, Garman noted the operator’s repeated inability to keep the truck within the designated travel portion of the highway and affected a vehicle stop. The adult male operator exhibited numerous symptoms of alcohol impairment and was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence.
• Mifflin County Waterways Conservation Officers Corey Girt and Richard Morder investigated a late night boating collision on the Juniata River in Wayne Township about 3 a.m. on July 5. A 14-foot aluminum jet boat struck an anchored 16-foot fishing vessel. With the collision imminent, the two occupants of the stationary fishing vessel jumped overboard seconds prior to impact. Traveling at a high rate of speed, the striking watercraft hit the rear of the fishing vessel and became airborne – traveling completely over top the stationary vessel from stern to bow. The stationary vessel sustained severe damage as it served as a ramp for the striking vessel. The operator of the striking vessel fled the scene as the two victims of the stationary vessel reboarded their damaged watercraft. The two victims were not hurt. With the assistance of a non-involved witness, the striking vessel was located abandoned on the shoreline approximately one mile from the crash scene. Officers identified a suspect from the striking vessel based upon evidence left behind within the boat. A large amount of alcohol and marijuana were found within this vessel. Misdemeanor criminal charges of failure to remain at the scene of an accident, failure to render aid, reckless operation of a watercraft and possession of a controlled substance will be filed.
From the Game Commission
• Pike and Monroe counties WCO Mark Kropa is investigating seven ATVs that were being operated illegally on State Game Land 180 in Blooming Grove Township.
• Pike and Monroe counties WCO Mark Kropa is investigating damage done to gates, damage done to planted fields, and littering violations on State Game Land 180 in Blooming Grove and Dingman townships.
• Wayne County WCO Frank J. Dooley reports there is an open investigation into the unlawful killing of a 435-pound black bear in closed season. Dooley reports that he interviewed a suspect, and charges will be filed.
• Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley is investigating several dumping cases that occurred on state game lands in his district.
• Pike County WCO Kirk Miller reports an individual pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing a turkey during the 2014 spring gobbler season. The man admitted to using his .22 magnum revolver to kill the bird. Charges for the violation totaled more than $500.
• Bradford County WCO Jeffery Oleniacz reports a Towanda man who was cited for consuming alcohol on State Game Land 289 in April failed to respond to a citation and Oleniacz served him with an arrest warrant. He was delivered to the judge and ordered to pay nearly $280 in fines and costs.
• Wyoming County WCO Victor Rosa reports that an individual was arrested following an investigation for unlawfully killing a white-tailed deer in closed season. When asked why he killed the deer, the defendant said that “he wanted to have a barbecue with his friends.”
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• In the Northeast Region “Operation Dry Water,” part of a Nationwide Program to detect and prosecute “Boating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance” violations, was conducted on Lake Winola, Lake Wallenpaupack, Harveys Lake and Beltzville Lake. Approximately 125 boats were contacted during the event and the officers issued 91 warnings. Thirty-two persons were cited for boating violations and two “boating under the influence” arrests were made.
• Columbia County Waterways Conservation Officer Aaron Lupacchini was assaulted by a defendant along Fishing Creek in Bloomsburg on July 13. The defendant had been seen committing a lewd act in public when approached by Lupacchini. The man then tried to flee but was stopped by Lupacchini. The man then began punching the officer on the head and chest. Lupacchini was able to subdue the man with the help of passersby. The man was charged with aggravated assault of a police officer, resisting arrest and open lewdness and placed in the Columbia County Jail when he could not meet the bail requirements.
• Luzerne County Sgt. Clyde Warner conducted a detail along Harveys Creek on July 5. The detail was designed to address the many complaints of littering, fishing without a license, and other fishing violations. Twelve citations were issued for littering and fishing license violations. Three young persons were also detained for possessing marijuana.
• Carbon County Waterways Conservation Officer Scott Christman is investigating a boat accident which occurred at Beltzville Lake on July 17. The accident involved a water skier whom came into contact with the boat’s propeller causing serious lacerations on his extremities.
• A pollution of fuel occurred in Scranton recently. A large fuel tank in a closed business began leaking and reaching the Lackawanna River on July 13. The oil reached the sewage treatment plant in Scranton as well. Waterways Conservation Officer Walter Buckman is investigating with the Department of Environmental Protection who is conducting the site reclamation.
From the Game Commission
• Bucks County WCO John Papson reports an ongoing problem with individuals putting graffiti on rocks on the game lands. When caught and informed how much fines would total, two individuals quickly decided to “volunteer” to remove not only their work, but that of others.
• Bucks County WCO John Papson reports that an investigation is being conducted into an individual buying a license while on revocation. Charges are pending.
• Lancaster County WCO Greg Graham reports that property violations are being addressed at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and nearby State Game Land 46. Patrols are netting unlawful activities, such as possession on alcoholic beverages, underage drinking, possession controlled substances and paraphernalia, entry into the propagation area and controlled-hunting area, and illegal vehicle operation. Prosecutions have led to charges ranging from summary game law to misdemeanor crimes code violations.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that numerous citations where written for alcohol and camping on State Game Land 211. “The individuals stated that they saw all the signs, but didn’t think anyone would find them,” he said.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that trail cameras were seized from State Game Land 211. “The reason for the cameras being seized was because the person also put bait/attractant out to bring the animals in to get pictures,” he said.
• Lebanon County WCO Brian Sheetz reports that DWCO Jeff Kawich and DWCO Bill Grooms recently patrolled State Game Land 211 by using a UTV. They were able to get to remote areas where people go to party. They found two individuals who were illegally camping and also in possession of a controlled substance. Citations were filed for the offenses.
• Lehigh and Northampton counties WCO Shawna Burkett reports working with Salisbury Township Police Department recently where a group of people were consuming alcohol and drugs on co-op/park property. The police department will be filing drug charges while the Game Commission will be handling the dumping and alcohol citations.
• Northampton County WCO Brad Kreider reports that an immature bald eagle was recovered from the Walnutport area after being struck by a car. Injuries were too extensive to save the eagle.
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports game lands abuse patrols are in full swing netting many ATV violations on property open to public hunting.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Delaware County WCO Robert Bonney and DWCO Paul Marchese were conducting safety inspections of boats using the Ridley Township Marina, where they arrested three subjects for boating under the influence in one evening. A 49- year-old man from Garnett Valley was arrested after the officers detected signs of impairment while conducting a safety inspection at the marina boat ramp. Later in the evening a 30-year-old male from Glenolden and a 32- year-old male from Folcroft were arrested for BUI after the officers observed the pair operating their jet skis at the marina. When the officers conducted safety checks of the PWCs they determined that both subjects were operating under the influence. All three subjects were taken into custody and blood samples were obtained in order to determine their blood alcohol concentration. Lab results are pending.
• Philadelphia County WCOs Erin Czech and Ronald Evancho arrested two subjects for BUI after they both operated the same boat on the Delaware River at the Frankford Arsenal Access Area while under the influence. The two males, both 51 years of age, and both residing on the same block in Philadelphia, were arrested after being observed operating by Game Commission WCO Gerald Czech. Both subjects were taken into custody and were each given a breath test by Philadelphia Police Department personnel to determine their BAC. One defendant had a BAC of 0.08, while the other had a BAC of 0.10 percent.