Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Aug. 2, 2019


After checking out of service from a long day of marine and ORV patrol, CO Anna Viau heard radio traffic about a fatal boating accident that occurred on a body of water known for its heavy recreational use. Viau assisted other local law enforcement with the rescue and recovery of other parties and equipment throughout the night and into the next day. The accident investigation is ongoing.

CO Anna Viau gave a presentation about aquatic invasive species to the Iron County Lakes and Streams Partnership. Included in her presentation were discussions about current and potential invasive species in Upper Peninsula waters. Many of the attendees live on local waterways and were excited to share the information they gathered with their neighbors.

CO Josh Boudreaux assisted with the search for an individual who was suicidal and reportedly shot himself in his truck somewhere in Marquette County. Boudreaux and a Marquette County Sheriff’s deputy responded to individual’s residence where they talked to family members and tried to gather information regarding locations he might visit. A cellphone ping got the officers moving in the right direction toward Champion. The officers were able to track down the vehicle that was driving erratically at high rates of speed and conducted a traffic stop. After removing the driver from the vehicle, he was treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound and transported to the hospital in Marquette.


CO Mark Zitnik was dispatched to an ORV accident near his location when ending his shift. When Zitnik located the group of ORV riders, he noticed that the injured rider had sustained a compound fracture to his lower extremity and was bleeding heavily. The rider’s two friends had fashioned a homemade splint and tied two tourniquets. The CO ultimately needed to re-apply a tourniquet since the makeshift tourniquets were not adequately reducing the blood flow. The CO led EMS to the location, where they rendered first aid, then transported the injured rider to the hospital.

CO Mark Zitnik was driving up Wetmore Hill on M-28 when he was passed by a pickup truck going 70 plus miles per hour in a 55-mph speed zone. The CO activated his emergency lights and siren, but the vehicle did not pull over. The CO followed the vehicle for over a mile and a half before the truck eventually pulled over. At this time, the driver told Zitnik, “You’re not a police officer, you’re a Do Not Resuscitate,” as a response to why he had not pulled over when signaled. The driver was issued a citation for speeding and, at the conclusion of the contact, understood that conservation officers are licensed peace officers.

While on patrol, CO Robert Freeborn overheard local dispatch send EMS to a remote location where a subject was pinned under a fallen tree and his condition was unknown. Freeborn was familiar with the location and was only a few miles away at the time and responded. Arriving first on scene, Freeborn advised the responding units of the exact location. Freeborn, along with a neighboring camper, were able to cut and clear the portion of the tree that was pinning the male subject. Once the subject was accessible, Freeborn performed first aid on the subject who had a large laceration on the top of his head and a possible broken shoulder. Once the bleeding was under control, Freeborn continued to stabilize the patient until EMS arrived. Due to the remote location and severity of his injuries, the patient was airlifted to the hospital.

COs Chris Lynch and Steve Butzin were on patrol when they checked a subject fishing who Lynch had arrested twice before. The COs knew the subject had a suspended driver’s license and a short time later they observed the subject driving. A traffic stop was conducted, and the subject was arrested for a third time by Lynch and lodged in the Delta County jail. This is the subject’s 10th violation with the department.

COs Breanna Reed and Mike Evink attended Camp Seven’s Kids Fishing Day. The COs brought a fur kit which allowed the kids to have hands-on experience. Over 300 adults and kids attended Kids Day.


CO Ethen Mapes was patrolling the Boyne Falls area when he saw a side-by-side traveling at a high rate of speed down a county road. Mapes conducted a traffic stop on the driver who stated that he was just out for a ride with his wife and two young kids. Mapes could smell the odor of intoxicating liquors coming from the driver. Mapes had him perform standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs). After SFSTs, the man was given a preliminary breath test which confirmed Mapes’ suspicions. The driver was over twice the legal limit and was arrested for operating a motor vehicle with a high blood alcohol level. The driver was lodged at the Charlevoix County jail for OWI and several other charges are being sought.

CO Ethen Mapes was on patrol when an ambulance and EMS were dispatched to a residence of an elderly male who had fallen in his bathroom and was unresponsive. Mapes responded to the location to assist medical personal extract the man from the bathroom and load him into the ambulance.

CO Tim Rosochacki assisted the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department in arresting a subject who had reportedly waved a knife in a threatening manner at subjects near a gas station in Cheboygan County. Upon the arrival of the deputy, the suspect took off on foot. A foot pursuit ensued by the deputy who caught the suspect with the aid of the CO. The Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the case.


CO Rebecca Hubers assisted Benzie County Sheriff’s Office with an ORV roadway crash involving a 15-year-old unsupervised operator. The operator left the roadway and collided with a tree. The operator was wearing a helmet and was transported from the scene by ambulance. The Benzie County Sheriff’s deputies completed the accident report and will follow up with the parents of the operator.

CO Troy Ludwig was assisting MSP on a lost child complaint when he located the child walking along the road. The child was turned over to MSP and reunited with her family.

CO Kyle Publiski responded to a call of an overturned kayak on the Pere Marquette River. It was reported that the female could not swim, did not have a PFD. and was clinging to debris in the river while trying to hang on in the unseasonably cold and swift water. Publiski was first on scene and located the victim stranded in the river and, by this time, was unable to feel her hands and feet. Publiski was able to throw his throw-bag to the victim, instructing her to wrap the rope around her body creating a lifeline in the event she as swept downstream. U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Doug Berringer, Sgt. Brad Nixon, and Deputy Craig Mayo, both with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, arrived on scene to assist Publiski. As the officers started to pull the victim toward shore, she released her grip from the debris and was sept downstream, becoming entangled in a log located in the middle of the river. The victim was not able to free herself due to being in the cold water for nearly 45 minutes. Publiski entered the swiftly moving water and was able to physically lift the victim over the log, getting her to shore. When on shore, the victim was showing signs of extreme hypothermia. She was wrapped in dry blankets and carried out over steep terrain for nearly a quarter mile to the ambulance.

While on patrol along a utility powerline near a well-known illegal ORV hill climb, COs Ryan Andrews, Brian Brosky and Sgt. Grant Emery watched as several SUVs approached the bottom of the hill climb. The COs could hear as the ORVs approached and observed one of the operators spin several doughnuts part way up the hill. All three vehicles eventually operated up the hill and stopped by the waiting COs at the top. The group was educated on where they can legally operate their ORVs and the erosive conditions that can result from operating in closed areas such as this. Citations were issued for operating ORVs in a closed area and open intoxicants on an ORV.


CO Matt Zultak checked a boat with three anglers after dark without any navigation lights on Backus Lake in Roscommon County. The operator of the boat had bloodshot eyes and had trouble following Zultak’s instructions. SFSTs were conducted to determine if the operator was operating under the influence of alcohol. The operator was eventually arrested for boating while intoxicated and transported to the Roscommon County jail.


CO Josh Jackson responded to a traffic crash. Central dispatch had notified nearby MSP troopers that multiple people were injured in the late-night crash. Jackson was the second officer to respond. Medical personnel had already arrived and began necessary first aid. Jackson assisted the MSP troopers as they attempted to locate the driver who fled on foot after the crash. The MSP helicopter was called in to scan the nearby state land. Jackson assisted with perimeter patrol for several hours until MSP called off the search when evidence to identify the driver had been obtained.


CO Carter Woodwyk assisted park officers at the Holland State Park in Ottawa County for their “Graduation Season” which consists of local high school senior graduates camping for a week after graduation. During the course of the patrol, they confiscated marijuana from two underage subjects as well as a large amount of alcohol throughout the night. Citations were issued for the possession infractions.

CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling Allegan County when he observed two subjects returning to their truck with fishing poles in their hands. The CO drove up to the subjects to see how they did fishing. When he pulled up to their truck, one of the subjects quickly dropped a bottle shaped item in the bed of the truck. The CO discovered it was a glass pipe with marijuana in it. Woodwyk gained consent from the subjects to search the vehicle and located a bag containing marijuana. Both subjects were under the legal age of 21 to possess marijuana. In addition, both subjects admitted to fishing all week long without licenses. Enforcement action was taken for the possession violation.

COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer conducted a marine patrol on Lake Michigan and the St. Joseph River, Berrien County. The COs observed an individual from shore who appeared to be fishing with a total of five fishing poles in use. The COs contacted the individual who admitted to using five fishing poles at once. A citation was written for fishing with more than three lines.

CO Anna Cullen received a RAP complaint via phone call while she was out of service for the evening. The complaint was regarding an individual who was actively taking short bass in the Middle Branch of the Muskegon River. Cullen received the needed information and located the fishing area listed in the complaint. Cullen was able to find the suspects as well as the short bass. A citation was issued regarding the short smallmouth bass.


CO Jason McCullough assisted the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department and Marshall Police Department with investigating a hit and run vehicle versus house accident. McCullough, with the help of some local witnesses, located the vehicle at a residence. The driver denied hitting the house or driving on the sidewalk even though there were still pieces of the house lodged in the tire and wheel of the vehicle. After showing the driver the house paint that was on the fender of the vehicle, the driver admitted to becoming impatient with a car backing out into the road. The driver stated they wanted to get around the vehicle that was backing up and decided to drive up and onto the sidewalk. Several additional witnesses were interviewed, and the story was verified. Fortunately, no one was injured as the collision with the house caused the deployment of the air bags in the vehicle.

COs Katie Stawara and Nathan Beelman were patrolling Lake Chemung when they observed a personal watercraft speed past a pontoon boat, well within 100 feet. A stop was conducted and contact with the vessel resulted in the operator displaying multiple signs of intoxication. The COs transported the suspect to shore where SFSTs were conducted and a preliminary breath test (PBT) administered. The suspect failed all tests and was arrested for boating under the influence. MSP assisted with transport of the suspect who was taken to St. Joseph hospital for a consented blood draw. The suspect was later lodged at the Livingston County jail.


COs Justin Muehlhauser and Tom Peterson received a complaint via RAP that there were two individuals taking over-limits of panfish on a lake in Orion Township. The COs then launched their patrol boat and were able to locate the anglers fishing on the southern end of the lake. The COs contacted the individuals and asked to check fishing licenses and possession limits. The individuals both possessed valid fishing licenses and were under the limit on panfish. However, during the check, it was discovered that the individuals had a total of five undersized largemouth bass. One subject was issued a citation for possessing four undersized largemouth bass and the other was cited for possessing one undersized bass. The bass ranged from 10.25 inches to 13.75 inches and were seized by the COs.

CO Luke Robare was patrolling Lake Fenton with CO Justin Muehlhauser when they stopped a pontoon for a registration violation. The COs suspected the driver of the boat to be under the influence of alcohol. Robare administered a SFST on the individual and determined that they were, in fact, impaired. Robare and Muehlhauser arrested the individual for marine operating under the influence.

COs Justin Muehlhauser and Luke Robare patrolled Lobdell Lake for marine activity. Several vessels were stopped for displaying expired registration. In one event, upon stopping the vessel, the COs noticed multiple children under six years old not wearing PFDs. The owner was cited for the violation and warned for the expired registration. Later, the COs noticed another vessel with an expired registration for 2017. Again, when the vessel was stopped, there were multiple children under six years old not wearing PFDs. It was also discovered that five of the occupants were under 21 and in possession of alcohol. All the alcohol was poured out and five minors were warned for minor in possession. The operator was issued a citation for the children under six years old not wearing PFDs and for operating on an expired registration.

While on patrol COs Tom Peterson and Jacob Griffin encountered a group of jet skiers operating within 100 feet from shore and harassing geese on Pontiac Lake. The two individuals were cited for operating within 100 feet from shore and warned about harassing geese.

CO Brad Silorey followed up on a complaint involving a 25-foot boat that had sunk in a canal of Lake St. Clair. After speaking with the complainant and a neighbor, it was found that the vessel was already pulled out of the water but had possibly leaked some oil/gas. Silorey could see a light sheen of oil on the water surface. Silorey called Macomb County Sheriff’s Marine Division who responded to the scene the day that it was removed and advised them that there were still some pollutants in the water. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Marine deputies responded and assisted Silorey with attempting to clean the area using absorbent pads. Silorey is investigating into the salvage company to see why there was little to no cleanup effort.

CO Nick Ingersoll and a Monroe City police officer were checking anglers at the DTE Energy Hot Ponds when they came across an angler who was fishing with four lines. Ingersoll asked the angler how many fish he had caught, and the angler showed Ingersoll the five-gallon bucket full of channel catfish. Ingersoll counted the number of channel catfish the angler had, and the angler was found to be in possession of 19 channel catfish. The legal daily limit for channel catfish is 10. Ingersoll then asked the angler how many lines he was supposed to be fishing with, and the angler stated he thought it was four. Ingersoll asked if the angler had a fishing guide, and he advised he did. The angler said he read it before coming out and thought he could have 25 channel catfish and four lines in the water. Ingersoll advised the angler that he was only allowed to fish with three fishing lines in the water and was only allowed to possess 10 channel catfish. The angler was cited for possessing an over-limit of channel catfish and warned for fishing with more than three lines.

CO Nick Ingersoll was dispatched by Monroe County Central Dispatch to a water rescue. Three individuals were enjoying the nice Friday evening in Brest Bay in Lake Erie when they stopped to go swimming. One of the individuals jumped off the vessel and, by the time they realized it, they were drifting too far from the vessel and were unable to get back. The vessel would not start, so one of the other individuals on the vessel jumped off the boat with a rope and PFD and attempted to save the person who was drifting away. Both individuals were unable to get back to the vessel, and that is when the last individual on the vessel called 911 for help. Ingersoll along with Monroe Township Fire Department, Frenchtown Fire Department, and Monroe County Ambulance responded. Ingersoll assisted with the search of the two individuals holding onto one PFD to stay afloat and assisted with the search of the stranded vessel. The vessel was located approximately a mile and a half from the shoreline with the stranded individual on it after being stranded in the water for approximately an hour after the time of the call. Frenchtown Fire Department was able to assist with locating the two stranded individuals who had drifted away from their vessel and both were pulled from the water. The individuals were suffering from mild hypothermia but expected to make a full recovery. All individuals were transported back to Sterling SP where Monroe County Ambulance was waiting. Ingersoll along with the help of a Sterling SP ranger were able to launch back out of Sterling SP after everyone was safe and locate the stranded vessel that was still drifting to shore in Brest Bay. Ingersoll contacted the US Coast Guard (USCG) and advised them of the vessel’s location. The vessel was partially anchored, but still a drift with the high wind. The USCG was able to dispatch a recovery vessel to tow the vessel back into Sterling SP.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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