New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 15, 2018
(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.)
Squirrel shooting leads to charges
On Jan. 12, ECO Brent Wilson responded to a call from Tioga County dispatch regarding a complaint alleging a subject had discharged a firearm within 500 feet of a neighbor’s residence. Tioga County sheriff’s deputies arrived first and interviewed the subject, obtaining only denials. Wilson arrived and obtained permission to check the subject’s yard. Some gray fur caught his eye, and that led to two dead squirrels on the ground about 15 feet from the house. Their wounds were consistent with what looked like a .22 caliber rifle round. Confronted with the dead squirrels, the man admitted to shooting them. Wilson determined that the subject was approximately 225 feet from his neighbor’s house when he shot the squirrels. The subject was issued tickets for discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling and unlawfully taking small game.
Late hunting for geese
On Jan. 17, ECO Tim Fay responded to a call of waterfowl hunters shooting toward a house in Yaphank. Fay arrived at 5:03 p.m. and spoke with the complainant. Just then, he heard another shot ring out from behind the house. To get to where the hunters were set up, Fay had to drive around the river and travel through the marsh, so ECO Landon Simmons was contacted for assistance. While Fay was working his way through the woods to locate the hunters, more shots were fired, now well beyond sunset. Fay finally made contact with the hunters a few minutes later. “Why are you still hunting almost a half hour after sunset?” he asked. The young waterfowl hunters stated they thought they could hunt Canada geese until a half hour past sunset. ECOs issued tickets for discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, hunting after closed hours, and failure to sign duck stamps.
An escape from school
On Jan. 16, ECO Jeff Hull received a call that a deer had fallen down an escape hatch at the Poland Central School. Upon his arrival at the school, he met with assistant facility director Gordon Miller. The buck was laying down at the base of the hatch approximately 10 feet below ground level, but appeared to have a minor injury to its leg. Hull devised a plan and requested some plywood and milk crates from the cafeteria. Hull and Miller climbed into the well with the deer and built up a platform while several school staff cordoned off the deer in the corner. Hull and Miller removed themselves from the well, and after several attempts, the deer was able to jump onto the platform and clear the concrete walls, freeing itself and running off with no apparent injury.
A “well” deserved ticket
On Jan. 18, ECOs Adam Johnson and Jon Walraven were patrolling Orange County when they came across an unknown substance spilling into the street. The ECOs immediately stopped and discovered that a local contractor was drilling a well at a residence and the substance in the street was slurry spewing from their operation. The slurry was a mixture of water, dirt and a cleaning solution that the contractors allowed to run down a hill and spill into the street unimpeded. The contractors were issued a ticket for depositing noisome and unwholesome substances onto a highway and were instructed to clean up the mess. T
Blood clams for sale
On Jan. 19, ECO Matt Thibodeau was informed by ECO Waldemar Auguscinski that blood clams were being illegally sold at a fish market in Flushing, Queens. Thibodeau arrived at the market and found the blood clams being offered for sale at $19.99 per pound. Blood clams are illegal to sell and possess because they are cultivated from uncertified waters outside of New York state and are a public health concern, as they have been found to contain Hepatitis A and dangerous bacteria. The clams were photographed, seized and weighed. There were a total of 9.19 pounds of clams seized with a total commercial value of $183.51. The market was issued a summons returnable to Queens County Court for the possession of shellfish taken from uncertified waters. The clams were seized and destroyed.