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New York Cuffs & Collars – August 21st, 2015

Illegal coyote kill
(Delaware County)

A woman called central dispatch reporting that she had witnessed two snowmobilers chase down a coyote and kill it. ECO Vernon Bauer interviewed the complainant by phone, who stated that earlier that morning she had heard a coyote yipping in a field across the road when she grabbed her binoculars in an attempt to locate it. Shortly afterward she witnessed two snowmobilers leave the trail as they entered the field to chase the coyote. This went on for several minutes before the coyote was run over multiple times by the snowmobiles. Once the coyote was incapacitated, she said one of the subjects grabbed a stick from the woods and repeatedly struck the coyote until it was dead. The two subjects posed for pictures with it and then placed the coyote near a shed in the field. Bauer and ECO Jared Woodin responded to the incident location and found overwhelming evidence supporting the complainant’s account of events. Woodin then received a call from a second party claiming that there were pictures on Facebook of the coyote incident. The text thread said, “Slayin’ coyotes with the snowmobile, that’s how we do it!” and showed one of the defendants holding the dead coyote. The officers secured the pictures and the text thread, which was timely because in a couple of hours they were taken off of the site. The officers later located and interviewed the two individuals, who said that they were on their way to school when they saw the coyote and decided to kill it “just because it was a coyote.” The individuals face several charges, including taking wildlife with the aid of a motor vehicle and operating an unregistered snowmobile.

Suffolk County)

ECO Travis McNamara received a call from Lt. Dallas Bengel to respond to a complaint of an individual who was bitten by a rattlesnake. When McNamara arrived on scene the individual, who had been bitten on the right eyelid, was en route to the Stony Brook Hospital by ambulance. The two officers entered the room where the incident took place and observed blood, vomit and human urine and feces on the bed. The rattlesnake was in a glass aquarium underneath a dark-colored sheet. Although the victim stated that he had only one snake,  McNamara found another rattlesnake in a separate aquarium in the closet. The victim told a Suffolk County officer that he had been bitten that morning and passed out. When he awoke later that day, he struggled to get to his cell phone and called 911. Both snakes were confiscated for safety reasons until it could be determined if the required permits were obtained by the victim. The snakes were later identified as a juvenile western diamondback rattlesnake and an adult prairie rattlesnake, both approximately 24 inches in length. The victim was eventually transported to a hospital in New York City, where he underwent a surgery lasting approximately four hours. Additional surgeries may be required and there is a possibility that he may lose his eye. Five days later the victim was still recovering in the hospital. The victim does not possess any permits and the investigation was continuing. 

Small game violations
(Greene County)

ECO Mike Arp received a complaint in the town of Durham regarding a subject shooting songbirds with a pellet gun. Arp went to the apartment complex and interviewed the complainant, who said that he had observed a male subject shooting songbirds and a gray squirrel within the complex. Arp walked to where five songbirds were observed dead around a bird feeder. The alleged shooter was interviewed and admitted to shooting the animals. The individual was issued one ticket for hunting small game without a valid license and one ticket for taking protected wildlife. Both charges were returnable to Durham Town Court. 

Bird kill
(Montgomery County)

ECO Chris Valenty responded to a call from a woman who discovered a dead red-tailed hawk and four dead crows in her backyard. When Valenty arrived he looked for any clues as to why the birds were dead. A more intensive search of the property resulted in the discovery of three more dead red-tailed hawks. There were no visible signs of trauma to the birds and the cause of death could not be determined.  The dead birds were collected and relayed to the DEC Pathology Lab in Delmar for further examination by a wildlife pathologist.    

Ice fishing compliance detail
(Seneca County)

Lt. Matt Lochner and ECOs Aaron Gordon, Scott Angotti, Shawn Dussault, and John Stansfield coordinated with members of New York State Park Police in response to ongoing complaints of aggressive ice fishermen threatening other fishermen. One brazen fishermen was allegedly going so far as to brandish a handgun when he felt that other fishermen were fishing too close to him at Sampson State Park on the east side of Seneca Lake. In an attempt to witness the reported allegations, several officers stationed themselves covertly throughout the crowded marina where approximately 75 people were fishing. Later, uniformed officers entered the marina from opposite ends and checked each fisherman, including the fisherman reported to have brandished a handgun. Although the officers were unable uncover any harassing behavior, this two-day detail resulted in several tickets and warnings being issued for general non-compliance, such as fishing without a valid license. All tickets were returnable to Romulus Town Court.


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