New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 29th, 2016

Harvest time
(St. Lawrence County)

During the month of September, ECO Scott Atwood assisted members of the state police and St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force with eradicating marijuana plants throughout St. Lawrence County on several days. Officers are frequently requested to provide support through use of their ATVs to transport personnel to remote areas to eradicate marijuana located by the state police aviation unit. The ATVs also prove useful in transporting the eradicated plants back out to the road. The month of September was very productive. During one of the eradication operations, approximately 350 plants were pulled in one day. Many arrests were made during the eradication operations by the state police for unlawful growing of cannabis, which is a class A misdemeanor under the public health law. 

(Editor’s note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the state of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.)

Forgotten conviction
(Orleans County)

While on patrol, ECO Vernon Fonda and Lt. Joshua Ver Hague received a call regarding someone shooting within 500 feet of a residence. Fonda began interviewing the two individuals, who claimed to be target shooting and did not think they were doing anything wrong. Fonda informed them they were far too close and they would be receiving tickets on the matter. After doing a more thorough look into the pair with the help of DEC’s central dispatch, Fonda discovered that one individual had a suspended license for not appearing in court and the second had a felony conviction. That conviction prohibited him from being in possession of a firearm. The two were taken into custody and transported to Ridgeway Town Court, where they were arraigned for discharge within 500 feet of a dwelling and criminal possession of a weapon ion the fourth degree. Also assisting in the matter were Lt. Chris Bourke and Merideth Papponetti of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department and New York State Trooper Scott Gregson. 

Hunter harassment
(Ontario County) 

Last Nov. 18, ECO John Stansfield received a call from a hunter stating he had been harassed. When asked to describe the harassment, he stated that a subject was driving his tractor needlessly along the boundary where he had permission to hunt, blowing an air horn, and that the man had brandished a handgun in his direction and told the hunter that he could shoot him. Stansfield contacted the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department and both the ECO and a deputy took statements from the complainant and interviewed the subject. During the interview the subject admitted to the harassing behavior and said that he thought where the man was hunting was too easy – “like shooting fish in a barrel.” He also stated that he used the air horn to try and scare the deer away. The subject was charged with interfering with the lawful taking of wildlife and menacing.

Wild raccoon chase
(Suffolk County)

On Oct. 28 the Suffolk County Department of Health notified Region 1’s Division of Law Enforcement that a 12-year-old girl was bitten by a pet raccoon at a Halloween party at a residence in Westhampton Beach. ECOs Kevin Holzle and Ron Gross contacted the resident, who allowed the officers to conduct a very limited search of her residence. Despite the fact that without the raccoon the child would have to undergo a series of painful rabies shots, the officers had to leave when the woman became uncooperative and wanted to speak to her lawyer. The next day ECOs Alena Lawston, Marcia Goodrich and Kevin Holzle returned to the residence for further interviews, during which they learned that the pet raccoon was in the process of being released at another location. The officers quickly responded and were able to recapture the raccoon. Since the violation of unlawful possession of wildlife was never actually witnessed by the officers, all involved parties were issued written warnings for illegal possession of protected wildlife. The raccoon was dispatched and taken to the Suffolk County Department of Health for rabies testing. The results, which came back as negative, were a relief for the parents of the little girl who was bitten

Capsized Coast Guard vessel
(Long Island/NYC)

On Feb. 25, Region 2 ECOs Jeff Krueger, Jason Hilliard, and Brad Buffa responded to assess environmental impact after a fishing vessel ran aground near the East Rockaway Inlet. The ECOs received the call from Major Timothy Huss, who had been monitoring the news story of a capsized 25-foot USCG boat, while attempting the rescue of seven fishermen whose vessel ran aground near the East Rockaway Inlet. All parties in the U.S. Coast Guard and fishing vessel survived the incident. Sea conditions remained unsafe so the ECOs responded by land. Initial reports from the Coast Guard and visual observation was that no environmental impact has occurred. The owner of Carolina Queen III responded from Virginia to work with the Coast Guard and DEC spills unit personnel in submitting their salvage plan

Untangled bucks
(Suffolk County)

ECO Travis McNamara received a complaint of two deer caught in a net in Stony Brook. When the officer arrived at the location he found the deer stuck in netting around a backyard tennis court. One deer was a small four-point buck and the other was a large 10-point buck. Officer McNamara was able to free the smaller deer without incident, cutting the netting from its antlers. He then was able to rope a hind leg of the larger deer, wrap the rope around a nearby tree and had a Suffolk County Police Department 6th Precinct officer who had also responded to the call hold the rope while he worked on cutting the deer free. Eventually, McNamara was able to get the big buck down on the ground to cut away the netting from its antlers. After a little more cutting and working with the rope the deer was freed. He ran about 10 yards, turned and looked at both officers, flicked its tail perhaps in a gesture of gratitude, then bounded off for another day

Categories: Import

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *