A District 1 CPO responded to a boat accident that occurred just up river from the Arduini Boat Ramp in Rock Falls on the Rock River. A Sterling woman was heading up stream from the boat ramp with her two daughters in their pontoon boat when they struck a submerged stump with the outboard motor. The motor bracket broke, causing the motor to fall off; it was attached only by hoses and cables. The pontoon boat drifted downstream after an attempt to anchor the boat failed. The pontoon boat drifted into the cable just upstream from the upper dam, where the boat operator secured her vessel until another recreational boater came to their aid and towed them back to the ramp.
A District 1 CPO received a complaint of a Geneseo man advertising mallard ducklings for sale on Craigslist.com. The CPO called the number listed and the man invited the “unidentified” CPO out to view the ducklings. A few days later, the CPO showed up in uniform and completed an inspection. The man was raising captive mallard ducklings and offering them for sale. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not require a federal permit for the captive mallards; however, DNR requires an Illinois Bird Breeder permit. The man agreed to purchase his permit immediately that day and will start keeping records as required by the Illinois Wildlife Code. He was issued a written warning for the violations.
A CPO began watching fishermen who were fishing along the east bank of the Rock River. In doing so, the CPO observed a Rockford woman who was illegally snagging. The woman would cast out, drop the rod tip and then begin jerking the rod sharply. She did this repeatedly. Upon making this observation, the CPO drove to the east side of the river and checked the woman and her creel. In her possession were several fish which displayed on their bodies evidence the fish had been snagged. The fish were seized, and the woman was issued a citation for unlawful snagging.
A Region I CPO inspected a boater and discovered he had been boating with the vessel’s internal drain plug inserted into the boats external drain hole. Additionally, the plug was simply inserted and the pressure lever was not lifted up, as designed for proper insertion. This mistake could have caused a boat accident and capsizing. In addition to this mistake, the boater had a fire extinguisher that was not USCG approved as well as an unsecured battery. The boater stated he was new to boating and had not realized the significance of these mistakes and his violations of law. The officer educated him both with written enforcement documentation as well as providing a boating safety digest.
A CPO investigated a boat accident over the Memorial Day weekend. Three Chicago men had recently purchased a fishing boat and decided to take it out for its maiden voyage over the holiday weekend. The men launched the boat in the Fox River but failed to check to see if a plug was in the boat. The boat made it down river several hundred yards before sinking. The men, who were all wearing personal flotation devices, were rescued from a debris pile and transported to shore by the Ottawa River Rescue Squad. The watercraft was recovered.
A CPO was patrolling the Rock River in a jon boat. A pontoon boat towing a jet ski was traveling in front of her and there appeared to be a group of people on inner tubes floating downstream from the Coal Town Slough. As the CPO got closer, she used her binoculars and observed the group of "tubers" to actually be an overloaded very small boat. And as the pontoon boat passed the overloaded boat, the waves from the pontoon came up and over the sides of the overloaded boat. The CPO quickly approached the overloaded boat before it capsized as the water was quickly filling the paddleboat. There were four very large adults on a small plastic paddleboat. No one was wearing a lifejacket, nor did they have any on board. All persons claimed they knew how to swim but the panic was obvious on their faces. The CPO pointed to one passenger and told him to board the front of her boat. As they were passing out life jackets, the heaviest passenger on the paddleboat began to panic and pulled herself onto the bow of the CPO’s boat. At that point, the bow of the CPO’s jon boat was within inches of the water. This woman weighed approximately 230 pounds and the limit for the CPO’s boat was only 4 persons or 550 pounds. The CPO quickly moved to the back of her boat and the other man onboard had to move to the rear half of the boat in order to counter balance the weight on the bow. The CPO ordered all passengers to stop moving until both boats could be stabilized. Once stable, the CPO motored both boats toward the nearest shoreline. The two remaining passengers in the paddleboat used a plastic cup to bail water out from the foot compartments and both boats continued to float downstream near the shoreline. However, since the paddleboat is not completely sealed, the inside of the boat was full of water. The weather began to change dramatically and dark storm clouds moved into the area. The CPO requested assistance from the Moline Fire Department and they responded to the area with their boat. Moline Fire arrived and the paddleboat was towed at a slow pace to keep it upright. All boats were safely on shore when the storm hit with heavy rain and lightning. The passengers of the paddleboat had one vehicle at Green Valley, so they took cover in their vehicle. After the storm passed, the CPO met the passengers at the Colona Boat Ramp where they had launched the paddleboat. One operator was issued a citation for overloading and one operator was issued a citation for no life jackets. This situation could have ended tragically but the timing of the CPO helped save four potential victims.
A CPO worked the Illinois and Fox rivers checking fishermen for compliance with the Fish Code and patrolling the area parks. While checking fishermen, a CPO found a Chicago man without a fishing license. The man was also wanted in Will County for failure to appear in court for non-payment of child support.
A CPO assisted Knoxville Police in securing a perimeter around a crime scene. A Bloomington man committed suicide by taking an overdose of unknown pills. He had parked his pick-up in the local Mobil gas station parking lot in the early morning hours. Employees of the business thought he was sleeping throughout the day, and only alerted authorities in the afternoon when they observed that he had not awakened. The CPO also handled a complaint from Knoxville City Hall of two suspicious subjects in their office, while the Knoxville officers were processing the crime scene.
A District 1 CPO conducted a compliance check on an angler who was fishing from a pier at Morrison Rockwood State Park’s Lake Carlton. The angler was in a shaky lawn chair at the end of the pier, which was rocking in the high winds. The angler was drinking beer and had already consumed a considerable amount. Due to the water temperatures, high winds, and alcohol consumption, the angler was advised to be extra careful while fishing and to consider moving back to the shoreline since he had no PFD.
While checking a fisherman for compliance along the DuPage River, a CPO observed several legal fish in a basket along the shoreline. While checking the immediate area, a plastic bag was located hidden from plain sight. Closer observation revealed a smallmouth bass wrapped in the bag. The fisherman initially claimed to have set it aside to put in the fish basket later, but after a short interview, admitted to knowing it was an illegal fish. After successfully releasing the fish, the CPO cited the subject for possession of a smallmouth bass during the closed season.
CPOs arrested a camper at Chain O’ Lakes State Park for possession of cannabis less than 2.5 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of alcohol in a posted restricted area.
CPOs assisted a couple at the Chain O’ Lakes State Park boat ramp who had accidentally locked their 18-month-old child in the vehicle with the keys. The CPOs were able to open the door.
A CPO cited a subject for possession of a 10-inch largemouth bass at the McHenry Dam (minimum is 14 inches).
While working a detail at Illinois Beach State Park, a CPO stopped a van because the front seat passenger did not have a seatbelt on. After a computer check of the driver, the CPO learned he was a sex offender. The occupants in the vehicle were one 15-year-old boy, two 14-year-old girls, one 13-year-old girl, and one 11-year-old boy. The driver was arrested for being with five persons under the age of 18 in a state park, and he was not the parent or guardian of said children. He was charged with five Class 4 felonies. The offender was first arrested when he was 14 for molesting a 5-year-old boy. After interviewing the five children, the CPO learned the sex offender had smacked one girl on the rear-end several times, was holding her hand, and was hugging two of girls. The sex offender had asked one of the girl’s friends if she liked him and if she wanted to kiss him.
CPOs and a district sergeant assisted in the investigation, search, and eventual recovery of a 13-year-old Morris youth who drowned in the Illinois River in Morris. The CPO utilized side scan sonar to locate the victim, and the crew worked late into the night refining their mark of the location of the victim so that when the divers were able to enter the water the next day, the markers were within inches of the victim and recovery was swift.
A CPO was called to a personal injury boat accident that occurred on the Kankakee River in Kankakee. An impaired boat operator struck another boat from the rear late at night. All persons in both boats incurred minor injuries. The operator of the at-fault boat was cited for OUI (0.237 percent) and for reckless operation of a watercraft.
A CPO is investigating a battery that occurred on a small island in the Kankakee River in Grundy County. A fight broke out between two men and one was struck in the face requiring treatment at a local hospital.
A CPO took out two investigators from the Tri-County auto theft unit on a boat patrol on the river system targeting stolen watercraft. Over 100 checks were performed but no stolen watercraft were located.
A CPO arrested two men found to be using a seine net to unlawfully take aquatic life in the I&M canal. The men were taking everything they could seine, including turtles, snakes, and a variety of fish.
CPOs arrested a Moultrie County man on an active felony arrest warrant issued out of Shelby County for threatening a public official. The man communicated threats to shoot and kill a CPO the week prior during an incident with a CPO after his arrest on a warrant by the same officer the day before.
A CPO was contacted by Vermilion County regarding six subjects floating the Vermilion River in inner tubes that had just gone over a low head dam. None of the tubers were injured in the incident but the CPO was able to catch up to the group and issue each a citation for pollution of waterways. The group was drinking heavily and was just throwing their empties into the river.
A CPO arrested a Cahokia man driving on the highway below the Lake Shelbyville dam. The man was observed by the officer throwing papers out his window while driving. Upon being stopped, it was learned the man did not have a driver’s license and only had a Mexican ID Card. Additionally, the man had no insurance for the vehicle as well. The man was cited for no valid driver’s license, no insurance and littering from a motor vehicle.
CPOs arrested an Effingham man for OUI on Lake Shelbyville. The man additionally was operating the watercraft with an insufficient number of wearable PFDs for all the passengers on board. The man was cited for the violations and recorded a BAC of 0.118 percent. The man was incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail awaiting bond.
A CPO arrested a Mattoon man at Lake Paradise in Coles County on charges of unlawful possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The man was incarcerated in the Coles County Jail awaiting bond.
A CPO arrested a LaPlace man near Lake Shelbyville after observing him drive off the roadway. The man was found to be intoxicated and was arrested for improper lane usage and DUI. The man refused chemical testing and was incarcerated in the Moultrie County Jail awaiting bond.
CPOs arrested an Orland Park woman after observing her erratic personal watercraft operation on Lake Shelbyville. The woman was found to be intoxicated and was arrested for OUI and careless operation of a watercraft. The woman recorded a BAC of 0.127 percent. She was incarcerated in the Shelby County jail awaiting bond.
A CPO assisted another CPO on a traffic stop in Eagle Creek State Park and when walking up to the scene observed another car stopped behind one CPOs truck which contained an open can of beer behind the driver’s seat. Check of the Lincoln driver found that he was intoxicated. Subsequent search of the vehicle found cannabis and drug paraphernalia in the driver’s area of the car. The driver was cited for illegal transportation of open alcohol, DUI and possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The man recorded a BAC of 0.101 percent and was incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail awaiting bond.
A district sergeant received a call from a National Guard chief warrant officer regarding possible trespassers on National Guard property in Randolph County. The sergeant notified a CPO and headed to the location. The CPO ran the plates on the truck while the sergeant and Sparta police officers searched for the subjects on foot. Two subjects were located fishing from a boat on the property. They claimed a representative from the National Guard had given them permission to be there, but they could not give a specific name. They received multiple citations and warnings.
A CPO, running radar in Frank Holten State Park, stopped a vehicle for going 26 mph in a posted 20-mph zone. The driver was found to be wanted on two warrants from St. Clair County. The subject also had a suspended driver’s license.
A CPO is also investigating a property damage only boat accident on Rend Lake. A jet ski ran into a pleasure boat at the boat ramp.
A CPO evicted six subjects for unauthorized camping at the Rend Lake Wildlife Management Area.
A CPO caught a subject with an over-limit of crappies on Rend Lake.
A CPO arrested a subject for driving under influence of drugs at Wayne Fitzgerell State Park. The subject dropped a one-hitter pipe while stepping out of the vehicle and admitted to smoking cannabis that night. The subject was taken to local hospital.
A CPO investigated a truck fire at Saline County FWA. A camper started a generator in the bed of his truck after filling it with gas. A fire started in the truck bed and spread until the truck was destroyed. The Equality Fire Department was called to put the fire out.
A CPO arrested a subject for DUI who requested to be shot instead of taken to jail and attempted to pull away while being handcuffed. The subject had to be held until a deputy arrived to help cuff the other hand, which was in a cast. The subject refused to give a breath sample.