Ohio Cuffs

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• While working a sport fishing enforcement project in Franklin
County, Fayette County Wildlife Officer John Coffman and Pickaway
County Wildlife Officer Ken Bebout made contact with an individual
fishing at Greenlawn dam. The individual, using a stick as a
fishing pole, admitted he did not have a current fishing license. A
check revealed the individual had two outstanding felony warrants
out of Franklin County. Upon confirmation of the warrants, the
individual was arrested and transported to jail. He was booked on
the felony warrants and for fishing without a license.

• Knox County Wildlife Officer Mike Miller and Delaware County
Wildlife Officer Steve Harvey were working Hoover Reservoir in
Delaware County during the 2010 Memorial Day weekend. They pulled
into a parking area and parked for a few minutes. As they started
to pull away, a man and a woman noticed them and decided to leave.
Miller and Harvey turned around and contacted the man and woman at
the car and asked them to produce fishing licenses. The man was
unable to produce a valid fishing license and also admitted to not
having a fishing license. The man was issued a summons for not
having a valid fishing license and also arrested for an outstanding
warrant from Franklin County for aggravated drug trafficking. While
searching the man, numerous pills and a crack pipe were found in
his pockets.

• While working sport fish enforcement at Rush Creek Lake,
Fairfield County Wildlife Officer Tony Zerkle observed a boat on
the water that appeared to be overloaded. The boat approached the
bank where Zerkle contacted the owner and advised him that three
adults and one child was too much weight for his 12-foot boat. He
then asked to see one wearable Personal Floatation Device (PFD) for
each person on board. The owner could only produce three PFDs, but
argued that his throw cushion was acceptable for the fourth person
and stated that they could all swim. While Zerkle was explaining
that the cushion was not a wearable PFD the owner became
belligerent. Zerkle advised him that he had violated two Division
of Wildlife rules and issued one summons for the PFD violation. The
owner was found guilty in the Fairfield County Municipal Court and
ordered to pay $125 in fines and court cost

• While working fish enforcement on the Scioto River, Marion County
Wildlife Officer Chad Grote came across two men fishing on private
property. The property had been trashed multiple times by fishermen
and the landowner had advised Grote that anyone fishing on his
property was to be cited for fishing without written permission. He
advised the men that they were fishing on private property and that
they were going to be given a summons for fishing without
permission. The one man stated that he had parked at the owner’s
house in the past and that his family knew the landowner. Since the
landowner was home, Grote collected the two men’s licenses and
showed them to the landowner, who told him that he didn’t know
either of the men. Grote gave both men a summons for fishing
without permission and both were found guilty in Marion Municipal

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• During Memorial Day weekend, Hancock County Wildlife Officer
Kevin Russell and investigator Mark Weihrauch were checking
fishermen near the city of Fostoria. They contacted two anglers at
Fostoria No. 2 Reservoir and both provided fishing licenses and
were very cooperative. While talking to them, Russell asked for
their date of birth as it appears on the license. One of the
anglers quickly gave the correct date, however the second
hesitated. The man slowly said the year he was born, but seemed to
forget what month and day. After a little additional thought, he
sighed and said he didn’t buy a license. He thought that he could
just get away with borrowing a friend’s. He didn’t. The
unlicensed-angler was issued a summons for fishing without a valid

• While working at the Parkersburg Wildlife Area, wildlife officer
Tom Kochert heard several shots in close order. When the shots
continued, the officer investigated to attempt to find the source.
On the opposite side of the area, he found some muddy tire tracks
going into a restricted portion of the wildlife area. Walking in,
the officer observed a pickup truck, with several individuals
standing beside it. Two male subjects were engaged in target
shooting with a 9mm pistol, using an old interior door as a back
stop. When questioned as to the legality of their actions, the
driver indicated that it was not posted, so they drove in and began
shooting. The driver and passengers were instructed to exit the
field with the officer, where the driver was shown a sign, stating
NO VEHICLES BEYOND THIS SIGN, with his tire tracks about two feet
from it. The driver had no more questions for Kochert, and he and
his companion were cited for driving in a closed area, and target
shooting on a wildlife area. They were found guilty in the Bryan
Court, and paid a total of $500 fines and costs.

• During the past deer gun season, Seneca County Wildlife Officer
Matthew Leibengood received the second complaint of the year
regarding jacklighting activity in a particularly deer abundant
area of the county. The following evening, after a long work day
covering deer gun season issues, Leibengood conducted surveillance
on the area. Just as he was readying to leave he noticed headlights
approaching the area. The officer waited and was not surprised when
the driver used the headlights to illuminate the field he was
watching. Leibengood stopped the vehicle and found an unloaded
12-gauge shotgun on the front seat and matching slug ammunition on
the dashboard. The two occupants indicated they were killing time
while out looking for deer. A summons was issued to the driver for
jacklighting. The defendant pleaded guilty, was found guilty, and
was ordered to pay $182 on this, his first, wildlife-related

• In July, wildlife officers Barr and Ohlrich were patrolling
marinas along Lake Erie in Ottawa County. They observed a charter
boat return to dock with a load of walleye. While checking the
fishermen, the officers found a walleye shorter than 15 inches in
their possession. The fisherman claimed the fish may have come from
another boat that had given them a couple of walleyes. A summons
was issued to the captain of the boat for possessing an under-sized
walleye. The captain paid $30 in fines and $53 in court

• Wildlife officer Matt Teders was leaving his residence for
another day on the job when he heard a pellet gun discharge nearby.
Teders knew that Findlay had restrictions regarding this type of
activity and decided to investigate. His first thought was that
someone might be trying to shoot the squirrels that frequent his
block. As he checked the area, he noticed an injured fox squirrel
lying in the mulch at the base of a tree and a man walking out of a
house near the animal. When Teders spoke to him, the man admitted
to shooting the squirrel. The Findlay Police Department arrived to
do a report regarding the incident. The offender was issued a
summons for taking a squirrel during the closed season. He appeared
in Findlay Municipal Court and was ordered to pay $200 in fines and
restitution. Interestingly, just a month prior to the incident, the
individual had made a point of introducing himself to Teders and
they had a discussion of what a wildlife officer’s responsibilities
include. Unfortunately for him, the man has now learned a little
more about the types of situations officers must handle.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• While working along the Grand River, Lake County Wildlife Officer
Tom Rowan observed a man and a young boy fishing along the bank of
the river. He observed the man drink from a 40-ounce beer bottle
and decided to watch them. Shortly thereafter, Rowan observed the
man remove a pipe from his pocket and begin to smoke what appeared
to be marijuana. The man then handed it to the young boy, who also
smoked from the pipe. When they left the area, the two had
discarded a beer bottle, bait container, pop can, and three snack
bags. The young boy also threw a Styrofoam cup into the river.
Rowan, with the assistance of the Painesville Police Department,
contacted the individuals as they returned to their vehicle. When
asked for his fishing license, the man told Rowan that he was not
fishing and only helping his 13-year-old son. Rowan charged the man
with fishing without a license and stream litter. Painesville
Police Department charged the man with possession of drug
paraphernalia and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The
juvenile was charged with possession of tobacco and marijuana. The
juvenile was released into the custody of his mother and the man
was taken to the Lake County Jail. He was arraigned in the
Painesville Municipal court by Judge Michael Cicconetti and pleaded
guilty to the violations. A probation officer was in the courtroom
at the time and recognized the man. The officer told the judge that
the man was currently on probation and that a condition of his
probation was that he was not permitted to consume any alcoholic
beverages. A week later, the man returned to the courtroom and was
sentenced to 210 days in jail for contributing to the delinquency
of a minor and stream litter. He was also ordered to pay more than
$800 in fines and costs and his hunting and fishing privileges were
suspended for three years. Currently, the charges on the man’s son
are pending in juvenile court.

• Jefferson County Officer Stevens was traveling in a remote area
of Jefferson County near Brush Creek Wildlife Area. A small amount
of household garbage was observed along the roadway. Stevens looked
over a retaining wall and found three bags of household garbage.
Contents of the garbage led to a suspect. The person responsible
for disposing of the garbage was charged with littering on private
property. The suspect was convicted and paid $150 in fines plus
court costs.

• Lorain County Wildlife Officer Randy White received a report from
a local police department that a groundskeeper at a local golf
course had run down and beat a Canada goose to death with a stick.
The man then used the dead goose to taunt a dog that was being
walked by a woman and her eight-year-old daughter. The man was
charged with taking a Canada goose out of season and paid a total
of $512 in fines, restitution, and court costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• After receiving numerous complaints of ATV traffic on Egypt
Valley Wildlife Area, Belmont County Wildlife Officer Brian Baker
and field supervisor Brian Postlethwait worked the area the Sunday
of the Memorial Day weekend. Three summonses were issued for ATV
violations, two citations for fishing without a license, and one
for discharging a firearm at a target in area other than a
designated firing range.

• Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, several officers patrolled
the American Electric Power ReCreation Lands in Morgan County.
Officers Stewart, Lane, Perko and Smith contacted several anglers
and area users that were in full compliance with the law. However,
six citations were issued including five citations for fishing
without a license and one citation for not having PFDs on a

• During the spring 2010 turkey season, Wildlife Officer Josh
Shields received a call from the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office in
reference to a deer poaching compliant. Shields investigated the
complaint and charged two suspects. Charges include: taking a deer
illegally with a bow in a closed season, aiding and assisting in
taking a deer in a closed season, shooting from a public roadway,
and interfering and attempting to deter a wildlife officer in his
duties. The fines and costs in the case totaled $1,040.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, while checking fishermen
along the Great Miami River, Shelby County Wildlife Officer Tim
Rourke encountered a couple of very suspicious canoeists. While
talking to the two, Rourke noticed several oddities about the
situation, namely that there were no fishing poles present in the
boat, and both individuals were dressed in camouflage from head to
toe in 85-degree heat. The only item in the boat was a camouflage
backpack. As Rourke questioned the two, he began to realize that
their story was not adding up. Upon closer inspection, Rourke found
the backpack to contain a sprayer, a small shovel, plastic cups
partially full of fertilizer, and a large camouflage spray. The two
brothers finally admitted to planting marijuana along the river,
and even told Rourke where it was located. He cited the individuals
for operating a canoe without the proper registration, and the
information concerning the illegal cultivation of marijuana was
turned over to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. The outcome is

• Wildlife Officer Aaron Ireland made contact with an individual in
April who was running his dogs on Pater Wildlife Area. Ireland
advised him it was illegal to train, run or exercise his dogs from
May 1 through Aug. 31. Ireland had contact with the individual
several times in May while he was still running his dogs on the
Wildlife Area. On May 20, Ireland was patrolling Pater Wildlife
Area and observed the same individual again running his beagles.
Ireland advised him that he was going to be issued a summons for
the violation. The individual advised Ireland that he had been
kicked out of Rush Run Wildlife Area and stated that he would not
show up for court. As Ireland was writing the summons, the offender
threw down a candy wrapper and Ireland asked him to pick it up. He
refused to pick up the wrapper. As Ireland was explaining the
summons to him, he was asked again to pick up the candy wrapper.
The individual once again refused to pick up the wrapper and took
his summons, tore it up, and threw it on the ground. Ireland
advised him that he was going to be issued a summons for litter. As
Ireland was writing that summons out, the man made several comments
that he has been to jail before and he did not care. After the
second summons was explained and handed to him, it was also was
torn up and thrown on the ground. Currently there is an outstanding
warrant for his arrest.

• While working in Warren County, wildlife officer Matt Roberts
received a report of individuals fishing without permission in a
gravel pit. Roberts met with Division of Natural Areas and
Preserves Officer Shannon Hoffer at the location. The officers
found two adults and a juvenile fishing in the gravel pit. The two
adults were charged with fishing without permission and their cases
are pending in Warren County Court.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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