Michigan Cuffs & Collars – August 16th, 2013


CO Ryan Aho took his patrol boat to Silver Lake Basin to check the lake. Upon arrival, he found a pickup truck with an empty boat trailer parked right at the boat launch with nobody around. CO Aho was unable to unload his boat on the lake. After four hours, a boat returned with three anglers onboard and loaded onto the trailer that was at the boat launch site. Upon contact, it was discovered the boat was without the necessary personal flotation devices, and two of the three subjects did not have fishing licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Matt Eberly was called to a complaint in Calumet regarding ORVs with extremely loud exhausts being operated at high speeds. Upon arrival, CO Eberly observed several ORVers tearing around the area and he was able to contact one of the individuals. The subject’s muffler had fallen off his dirt bike and he was trying to get back to his residence. The ORV was not licensed, and there was no spark arrestor in the muffler. CO Eberly advised the subject that his after-market muffler was not legal under these conditions and ticketed him for having failed to license his ORV.
COs Trey Luce and Mark Leadman patrolled the Lake Superior shoreline around Marquette. Numerous boaters were contacted during the hot afternoon. One boat was observed near the mouth of the Chocolay River and appeared to swerve away from the patrol boat as it was approached. Several expired registration stickers were observed on the side of the boat, with the most recent one expiring in 2005. Upon contact, two subjects were found onboard with no PFDs of any kind in the vessel. The operator explained that the boat was just taken out of storage and he wanted to run the motor. He did not think the PFD was that important, as they had oars to row back to shore if the motor stopped running. The operator was informed of the numerous risks that he was taking, and he realized he made a bad decision. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dave Miller received a complaint about shooting in Porcupine State Park. CO Miller, along with two park rangers, located a group of campers who were in possession of firearms in the park. The campers were notified of the current law that had changed, making it illegal to carry guns in the park.


CO Kyle Publiski was on marine patrol when he observed a small 14-foot boat almost crash into a pontoon boat and then just barely miss the CO. The CO yelled at the operator to stop. The operator then yelled back obscenities. Contact was made, and CO Publiski determined the operator to be extremely intoxicated. During the contact, the subject tried to start his boat and run, but the CO quickly grabbed the safety lanyard so the boat wouldn’t start. The subject then passed out and was taken to shore for medical attention. Once at a hospital he regained consciousness and was transported and lodged in the Chippewa County jail. The subject was charged with operating a motor boat while intoxicated, which wasn’t his first drunk driving arrest. The next morning he was released on bond and later that night he was again arrested by local deputies for drunk driving, this time in a motor vehicle.
COs Kevin Postma and Brett Gustafson were on marine patrol when they encountered a subject using too many fishing lines. The angler asked for a break because he had been issued so many tickets in the past. It was explained that one is supposed to prevent getting tickets by obeying the law. The subject was again issued a ticket.
CO Mike Hammill was patrolling Manistique Lake when he checked a subject who was acting suspicious. The angler claimed he had no fish on board the boat. When the CO asked a second time if he had any fish, the man began to show him that he didn’t have any, but consistently avoided a storage area behind the gas tank. When asked about this area, the subject became nervous and didn’t want the CO to see what he was hiding. After a few moments, the subject pulled out an undersized walleye. Tickets were issued.
CO Kyle Publiski was utilizing his binoculars and observed a subject who appeared to be using too many fishing lines. As the CO proceeded to make contact, the subject spotted him and attempted to pull in the extra line before the CO could see it. As the subject reeled in the extra line, a fish took the bait, which hampered his attempt to hide his activities. A ticket was issued for too many lines.


CO Michael Feagan checked two anglers on a small lake. They were coming to shore in a vessel that had no PFDs on board. They stated they forgot them in their truck and were given a warning. About one-half hour later, CO Feagan checked the lake again and observed the same two subjects fishing on the lake. He asked them to show their PFDs, and they were unable to produce any. This time they both received tickets for no PFDs.
CO Jon Sklba received a complaint about a large fire during high fire-danger weather. A subject who had demolished an old house was attempting to burn it. A ticket for unlawful disposal of solid waste was issued.
CO Matt Theunick assisted local law enforcement agencies with a suicidal subject threatening to jump off a bridge onto I-75. The highway was blocked off, and the subject was eventually taken into custody.
Near a road ending at the south end of Torch Lake, a citizen waved down CO Andrea Albert to assist with a highly intoxicated female subject who had just walked in from the sandbar area. The subject stated a friend was going to get her car and pick her up. CO Albert located the friend driving around the area. However, the second subject was driving with a blood-alcohol level of .18 and was subsequently arrested for driving while intoxicated and operating while suspended.
While patrolling the chain of lakes in Antrim County, CO Andrea Albert noticed a purse on the bottom of the river just south of Mohrmann Bridge. The CO fished out the purse, which contained the owner’s wallet and other personal items, including some old photographs. CO Albert contacted the owner and returned the purse, which had been missing since last fall. It is believed the purse was stolen and then tossed from the Mohrmann Bridge, into the river.
CO Kelly Ross arrested a subject on a felony warrant that stemmed from an investigation of timber theft from this past spring. The defendant paid over $8,000 in restitution and damages.
CO Kelly Ross stopped two ORVs being operated in a closed area and found that the VIN numbers of one of the ORVs had been ground off and painted over. CO Ross went back to the operator’s residence to see the bill of sale on the ORV and discovered a second ORV with a missing VIN. The operators were ticketed for the closed-area violation, and the investigation continues on the destroyed VIN numbers.


CO Brian Brosky was on marine patrol on Lake Michigan and located anglers fishing 10 miles out with nine lines set and only two licensed anglers aboard the vessel. The subjects admitted to fishing with too many lines and told CO Brosky they thought they would never get checked on a Tuesday afternoon that far out. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Brosky was working at Silver Lake Sand Dunes and stopped a motorcycle being operated recklessly in a no-exhibition-driving area. The operator became angry that the CO had stopped him from riding a wheelie the entire length of the beach area. The operator was upset because it was his longest wheelie ever, and he had been practicing all day in the closed area. The motorcycle was unregistered, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Brosky, while working Silver Lake Sand Dunes, responded to a personal-injury accident in which the operator of a rented Jeep climbed a dune too fast and rolled over at the crest of the hill. All occupants in the vehicle were seriously injured.
CO Mike Wells assisted the Newaygo County Animal Control Department with a search warrant of subjects conducting veterinary medicine without a license that resulted in felony arrests for animal cruelty. The individuals also were in possession of spotted fawns, skunks, and raccoons. Warrants are being sought for the multiple charges.
CO Mike Wells was working with local deputies attempting to keep the peace at the Thornapple public access site on the Muskegon River when multiple arrests were made for assault and disorderly conduct during a large tubing event. The yearly event includes hundreds of tubers converging onto the access ramp at the same time, which resulted in various enforcement issues, including parking violations, open intoxicants, minors in possession of alcohol, urinating in public, and recreational trespass.
CO Mike Wells received word that one of a group of nine tubers was missing from his tube on the Muskegon River. The exact location was difficult to determine, as the group only noticed he was missing from his tube 20 to 30 minutes after they left a location on shore. CO Wells was assisted by the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department Dive and Marine Section, along with the MSP helicopter. The two-day search resulted in the recovery of the subject from the river, deceased from an apparent drowning.


CO John Huspen received a complaint regarding people fishing with live bait and lures in the “flies-only” section of the Manistee River. CO Huspen located a camp along the river with no registration card, an unattended fire, and several people fishing without licenses. The subjects also had been target shooting using trees as backstops. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Warren MacNeill received a complaint regarding a couple of personal watercraft being operated too close to swimmers at Harrisville State Park. An off-duty deputy talked to the operators about their careless behavior and received a rude response from the subjects who continued to operate in a careless manner. When CO MacNeill arrived, he was able to film some of the careless activities before contacting the subjects. Both operators were issued tickets for their actions.
While on marine patrol, CO Mark Papineau observed a pontoon boat pulling several subjects on a tube. Seconds after one of the subjects fell from the tube, CO Papineau observed a PWC travelling at a high rate of speed head directly toward the person in the water. Before CO Papineau could stop the collision, the subject in the water was able to dive below the surface as the PWC sped over his head. CO Papineau quickly made contact with the subject in the water to check his well-being and determined he had not been struck. CO Papineau then apprehended the PWC operator, who said that he was attempting to jump the wake and did not see the subject in the water. The operator was educated about the near catastrophic collision, and a ticket was issued for reckless operation.
While on marine patrol, CO Mark Papineau observed a subject operating a PWC at a high rate of speed near several rafted pontoons. As the CO approached, he observed the subject on the PWC intentionally chasing waterfowl swimming in the lake. After the PWCer sped through the middle of a flock in an attempt to run over the ducks, the operator was stopped. The PWC operator denied attempting to run over the waterfowl until he was presented with the observations made by CO Papineau. The subject then confessed, and a ticket was issued for careless operation.


While CO Joel Lundberg was fishing on his pass day in the Upper Peninsula, he witnessed an angler snagging and keeping salmon. The CO was able to contact Gerald Thayer, the local sargeant in the area. When Sgt. Thayer contacted the angler, he was told the subject was a tribal member. Thayer then contacted law enforcement officers from the Sault Ste. Marie tribe. The tribal officers issued the angler a ticket for not having a subsistence fishing license and seized all his fish.
While CO Jeremy Payne was patrolling Stevenson Lake and approaching a boat, the operator yelled over to the CO. The operator told the CO that he issued him a ticket last year for not having any PFDs and this year he was all set. After a check of the equipment, it was determined the operator had a fire extinguisher on board that was out of date and did not work. The fire extinguisher was from 1972. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chad Foerster was patrolling the Saginaw River area when he observed a boat heading toward the launch area where he was standing. The operator of the boat saw the CO and immediately turned his vessel around and started fumbling with things inside. CO Foerster then observed the single boat operator throw a fish overboard, into the water. When he came to the launch, the subject admitted to throwing two walleyes overboard and stated that he was “sorry.” A further search produced six more walleyes, three over his legal limit. Both dead walleyes that were thrown overboard were picked up, and enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Tony Soave received a Report-All-Poaching complaint about a boat on Saginaw Bay that would come in regularly with undersized walleyes. The caller gave a vehicle description of the suspect anglers, and after checking several possible boat launches, Sgt. Soave located the vehicle and waited for them to return. As the boat rounded the corner of the channel near the boat launch, Sgt. Soave drove up to the dock. As Sgt. Soave walked down to the dock, the operator decided to pull up and tie off. Upon checking the cooler and inspecting walleyes, Sgt. Soave found that the group of four anglers was over their legal limit of walleyes and three of the walleyes were under the legal 15-inch size limit. One of the anglers also had no valid fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Andy Bauer and CO Steve Mooney teamed up to patrol the St. Joseph River, targeting the illegal taking of steelhead. As the COs were approaching a boat near a creek mouth, they observed a subject look at them, then intentionally snag his gear on an underwater object to break it off. After contacting the subject, COs Bauer and Mooney obtained a confession for using illegal gear and seized a snagged steelhead. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Andy Bauer and Sgt. Zach Doss patrolled the St. Joseph River and observed three subjects shore fishing. Upon contact with the anglers, it was discovered that one subject had caught an undersized flathead catfish and had given it to the other two anglers who did not know the size limit. Upon contacting the subject who caught the fish, it was discovered that it was the same person CO Bauer had contacted a couple of weeks earlier with undersized smallmouth bass. At the previous contact, CO Bauer had ticketed the subject in addition to giving him a fishing guide and explaining size limits. The subject was again ticketed for retaining undersized fish.
CO Chris Holmes contacted two subjects fishing in a boat on a limited-access lake in the city of Kalamazoo. CO Holmes sat and watched the boat for some time and then attempted contact as it neared his location. As the subjects were slowly approaching CO Holmes, he observed one of the subjects dump a bucket of fish back into the lake. Once CO Holmes contacted the subjects, he recognized the person who had dumped the fish overboard as the one he had ticketed for possessing an overlimit of bluegills earlier in the year on a different lake. The subjects had two buckets of panfish in their possession – one containing 25 fish and one containing 20 fish, and an undersized largemouth bass. One of the subjects was fishing without a license and was in possession of the 20 panfish and undersized bass. He was ticketed for the violations, and marine safety issues were addressed.
CO Cary Foster heard a dispatch call about a vehicle towing a trailer that appeared to be on fire. CO Foster spotted the vehicle and trailer and there were flames reaching 10 feet above the trailer. The CO was able to contact and stop the vehicle operator and route fire equipment to the scene.


While checking a local mill pond for marine activity, CO Dan Bigger contacted subjects fishing near an area frequented by boats. The subjects were uncooperative and reluctant to come up from the water’s edge, prompting CO Bigger to request backup. Prior to the backup arriving, CO Bigger was able to get the subjects to higher ground and found that neither had fishing licenses. The subjects were upset because they were not planning on keeping the fish, so they believed they should not have to pay for a license. CO Bigger explained that it’s not a successful fishing license and that a license is still required to fish. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Todd Thorn worked a late-night marine patrol on the Grand River in Lansing and wrote two tickets for fishing without a license. CO Thorn also contacted a man preparing to launch an unregistered motorized boat and found that the man had four outstanding warrants for his arrest. The man was arrested and transferred to a local deputy, who transported him to the county jail.
While on patrol, CO Jason Smith was first on the scene of a car fire on I-94. CO Smith secured the location and checked the vehicle, as it was starting to become fully engulfed in flames. After determining that no one was inside the vehicle, CO Smith shut down I-94 for the fire department and then turned the incident over to MSP.
CO Jason Smith received a complaint that an angler had caught more than his legal limit of fish. CO Smith was too far away but was able to contact the Saline Police Department to see if officers could make contact with the subject before he left the area. CO Smith arrived at the scene and discovered that the angler was 75 panfish over the limit. Enforcement action was taken.


While on marine patrol in northern Anchor Bay, CO Kris Kiel observed a vessel with three anglers fishing close to shore. CO Kiel contacted the anglers and asked how the fishing was going. The anglers responded just OK. However, CO Kiel could see that the livewell was stuffed with bluegills. The CO counted out the bluegills and found an undersized 10-inch bass in the catch. Further, a safety check of marine equipment established that the anglers were short one PFD. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Lacelle Rabon was on routine patrol on Lake St. Clair when he contacted an angler who was in possession of a 10-inch, undersized smallmouth bass. The angler was asked if he knew what the minimum length was to keep a smallmouth bass, and he stated he was not sure. CO Rabon advised the angler that the required length to take and possess a smallmouth bass was 14 inches. The angler stated that must have been changed within the last year. CO Rabon was unsuccessful in his attempt to explain the law to the angler, and the angler refused to look at a fishing guide. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Drexler was on marine patrol on Belleville Lake when he contacted two anglers. CO Drexler asked to see their catch, and the vessel operator hesitantly opened a cooler containing a number of bass and panfish. The CO asked the anglers if they thought there were any issues with their catch, and the operator stated he didn’t think so. CO Drexler pulled out three undersized bass, the shortest being a little over 8 inches in length. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Brandon Kieft and Todd Szyska responded to a complaint about a snapping turtle offered for sale on the Internet. The COs were able to track down the online posting to a residence in the Flint area and make contact with the subject. It was determined that the subject had no valid fishing license, had been in possession of the turtle during the closed season, and also was attempting to sell it. The turtle was seized, and a warrant will be sought for the violations.
CO Brandon Kieft was on marine patrol on Lake Oakland when he observed a PWC being operated with an expired registration. The operator of the PWC admitted that he had not renewed the registration as required. However, he failed to inform CO Kieft about his active warrant in Saginaw County. When questioned further about the warrant, the individual stated that it was probably due to an unpaid ticket he received while on business in the Saginaw area as an attorney. Enforcement action was taken and he was released on the warrant because he was outside the pick-up range.
While working hydroplane races on Pontiac Lake, CO Ben Shively and an intern observed a vessel doing donuts within 100 feet of a dock and in a slow, no-wake area. CO Shively stopped the vessel and contacted the operator, his girlfriend, and their dog. Upon contact with the driver, CO Shively determined the subject was intoxicated. The subject was placed under arrest and lodged at the Oakland County jail for boating while intoxicated.

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