Canisteo River Canoe Regatta
Young folks from throughout the Southern Tier have been participating in the Canisteo River Canoe Regatta for years. Participants use canoes and an assortment of other vessels for the event. Over the last few years, the event has turned into a floating drinking party with little regard for private property. As a result of this and several of the medical rescues made over the last few years, enforcement has been increased. This year ECOs Steve Farrand and Dustin Oliver assisted the Steuben County Sheriff’s Navigation Unit and the Canisteo Police Department to try and keep the rabble rousing to a minimum. As a result of the law enforcement presence, many of the participants received educational information and warnings regarding boating safety. However, education and warnings were not enough to control the activities of all and the following arrests were made: resisting arrest (2), failure to comply with an lawful order of an ECO (3), criminal trespass in the 3rd degree (1), DWI (1), unlawful operation of an ATV on a public highway (3), operating an ATV without a helmet (3), failure to display a red flag on an extended load (2), muffler violations (2), failure to obey a traffic control device (1), license plate not displayed (1), unregistered motor vehicle (1), no PFD (personal floatation device), 13.
Bridge jumper has a letdown
While on routine patrol ECO Dustin Oliver came across a group of five teens that had been swimming in the Cohocton River beneath a railroad bridge in the town of Avoca. While talking to the group it was apparent that there was something they were not telling the officer. A few minutes into the interview one of the group broke down and gestured toward the bridge where one of the friends had climbed to the top of the structure, which was a good 40-plus feet above the water. The young man had planned to jump off the bridge into the swimming hole, but once he reached the top couldn’t bring himself to take the plunge or climb back down. Oliver contacted the Steuben 911 Dispatch Center, which dispatched the Avoca Fire Department. Shortly after arriving, the fire department had a ladder set up and coached the individual to the ground without injury. After verifying with the railroad police that they would support an arrest, the daredevil received a summons for trespassing on railroad property that will be heard in the Avoca Town Court.
Little lobsters, big frogs
Lt. Liza Bobseine and ECO Nicole DiGiovanni decided to conduct a foot patrol through Brooklyn’s Chinatown and see how the markets were faring. At their very first stop, they discovered a bin of blood clams with none of the required tags to show where they came from and to verify that they came from certified waters. While the shop owner searched diligently through his tags, which were crammed into a disorganized box, DiGiovanni began measuring lobsters for sale in a tank located at the front of the store. All in all, about one quarter of the lobsters being offered for sale were under the legal size limit of 3 3/8-inch carapace length. Tickets were issued for both untagged shellfish and undersize lobsters. Meanwhile, Bobseine examined the frogs for sale in the store.
ECOs get wet for tickets
ECOs Jeanette Bastedo and Ed Piwko were doing a late-night check of the beaches and popular fishing spots on Staten Island while ECO Walde Auguscinski was running surveillance in plainclothes on fishing areas nearby. While Bastedo and Piwko were checking the pier at Lemon Creek Park, Piwko noticed smoke from a fire further up the beach and across Lemon Creek and went to investigate. When the officer signaled the man to come to speak with him, the subject instead shoveled dirt onto the fire and continued fishing, ignoring the officer’s calls. Piwko waded across the creek, which came almost up to his waist, and apprehended the man. It turned out that not only was he burning fires illegally on the beach, he was also fishing without a marine registry. He was issued two summonses. Meanwhile, further up the beach at Wolfes Pond Park, Auguscinski was observing a large group of fishermen and radioed Bastedo and Piwko to join him. Once on scene, the three ECOs began checking all the people fishing. Auguscinski identified himself to the six men, who had waded out, and told them to return to the beach so he could check their licenses and inspect their creels. The six men attempted to ignore the instructions, so Auguscinski waded out to them and found they had caught multiple bluefish and one striped bass and that none of them possessed a marine fishing registry. In total the night netted the now-soaked officers 14 citations for failure to carry a marine fishing registry, disobeying a posted sign on state land, and trespassing.
ECOs Jeff Krueger, Brad Buffa, Jason Hilliard and Nicole DiGiovanni were on boat patrol in Lower New York Bay when a pleasure boat was found fishing for summer flounder off Coney Island. Upon being boarded, the captain was eager to help measure their one legal striped bass and summer flounder. While the fishermen were measuring, Krueger discovered another bag of fish hidden in the forward cabin of the vessel containing two undersized, 15-inch summer flounder which the captain was not nearly as proud of. Three of the men had also failed to have their New York marine fishing registry. Four summonses were issued for the undersize flounder and the lack of fishing registrations.
Manhattan bicycle patrol
(New York County)
Having completed rigorous bicycle patrol training in Orange County, ECOs Paul Pasciak and Jordan Doroski, along with Lt. Liza Bobseine went on their first bicycle patrol. Before they could set out an anonymous caller informed them of short lobsters being offered for sale. The day started off with an inspection at a Brooklyn restaurant that produced 45 out-of-slot-size lobsters, which they donated to the Bowery Mission. After a productive morning, they set out for a bicycle patrol at Battery Park. The officers covered a lot of ground while conducting shore checks in Lower Manhattan. While patrolling over from Battery Park toward East River Promenade, the crew spotted two fishermen behind a sanitation garage. As they approached the fishermen, one of them tried to throw back a striped bass, which was intercepted but happened to be exactly the legal limit of 28 inches. The fishermen also had valid marine registries but Pasciak’s keen eye spotted an 18-inch striped bass tucked near the subjects’ bicycles. Doroski issued a summons for the fish. Just as the bike patrol crew were about to call it a day, an unexpected downpour had them seeking cover under an overpass and at that point appreciating the comforts of their dry police cruisers.
Howe’s house call
While on patrol, ECO Robert Howe observed a man catch a fluke and then pack up his gear and go back inside his home. Howe quickly responded to the man’s residence, knocked on his door and told the man he had seen him catch a fish and would like to see it. They entered the house and Howe measured the fish on the man’s dining table and then issued him two tickets for an undersized fluke and fishing without his marine fishing license.
Two trip limits in one day
ECO Brian Farrish inspected a commercial fishing vessel at the dock of Mattituck Fishing Station. On the back deck of the vessel the captain had 732 pounds of scup (porgy), 50 pounds of black sea bass and one container of mixed fish. Upon further inspection of the vessel, Farrish found two large, white onion bags hidden in the floor in the cabin of the vessel under a rubber mat. Inside the bags was another trip limit of black sea bass. The captain was issued a summons for possessing over the commercial trip limit of black sea bass. The captain was allowed to keep his trip limits and the overage of fish was seized, photographed, and weighed by Lt. Frank Carbone and Officers Jeremy Eastwood and Farrish. The 57 black sea bass had a total weight of 71.60 pounds and were donated to Mastic and Shirley Community Emergency Food Center Foundation.