Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Aug. 30, 2019
CO Cody Smith assisted with a search and recovery of a subject who had gone cliff jumping at Canyon Falls in Baraga County. The individual had jumped off the falls around 8 p.m. and was unable to get out of the river due to the high current from recent rains. The search party was called off after searching into the night. The following day Smith showed up on scene with an off-road vehicle (ORV) while the Michigan State Police (MSP) Dive Team gathered. While waiting for the dive team an MSP helicopter, “Trooper 3,” was able to locate the body of the missing person in the river downstream. Smith and a Baraga County sheriff’s deputy led the dive team by ORV to the nearest location so they could recover the body across the river.
COs Cody Smith and Josh Boudreaux received word, late in the day, that there were lost hikers in Craig Lake State Park, which is a remote 8,400-acre tract of roadless land, located in Baraga County. While enroute, word was received that they had been located and were stranded on the far shore of Clair Lake. They responded and with the assistance of park rangers, an MSP trooper, and a couple who were staying at their cabin on a nearby island, they were able to hike a canoe in via a portage trail and then canoe across the lake to retrieve the couple.
CO Josh Boudreaux was contacted by local state park rangers after they located rubber gloves and melted bottles containing a white substance believed to be drug paraphernalia. Boudreaux worked with the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team to facilitate the removal of the suspected methamphetamine manufacturing site on state land in Marquette County.
CO John Kamps completed an investigation of cutting down timber on state land. A trail was cut through a section of state land that led to a camper that had recently been pulled onto private property. Contact was made with the suspect and the CO obtained a confession for cutting down the trees on state land. The suspect had no other way to access his chunk of private land that was on the opposite side of a river from his house. A citation was issued for removing trees/shrubs on state land.
CO Michael Evink conducted a boat patrol on Big Bay de Noc. While heading back to the launch, Evink heard CO Chris Lynch asking for assistance in Nahma. Evink took his patrol boat to the access site in Nahma, docked it, and walked the few blocks into Nahma to assist Lynch, who was arresting an individual for driving on a suspended license. Evink then returned to his boat and continued the patrol.
COs Robert Freeborn and Breanna Reed contacted a kayaker that Freeborn had given a warning to for no Personal Floatation Device (PFD) from the previous day on the same lake. Freeborn asked the subject if he remembered his PFD today. The kayaker looked at Freeborn with a blank look and stated, “Well you got me, no I do not.” Freeborn issued the kayaker a citation for no PFD. During the same contact, Reed checked the kayaker’s friend who had been fishing. It was determined that he had not purchased a fishing license. He was issued a citation for fishing without a license.
COs Steve Butzin and Breanna Reed served a warrant on an individual in Escanaba. The warrant was from an investigation Butzin conducted into the illegal taking of a 6-point buck without a license in Menominee County.
CO Calvin Smith attended an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) blitz with the Chippewa Conservation District at the Aune Osborn boat launch on the St. Mary’s River. The blitz educated the boating community on clean, drain and dry initiative to help stop the spreading of AIS.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz were on their way to the Montmorency County jail after a BUI arrest when they witnessed an ORV driving in the roadway. Collins initiated a traffic stop and, while contacting the driver, Collins noticed the driver had a strong odor of alcohol. The driver was tested and was found to be operating while intoxicated (OWI.) The subject was arrested and taken to the Montmorency County jail for OWI.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz responded to a single ORV accident in Montmorency Township in northern Montmorency County. The ORV had left the roadway and struck a tree causing significant damage to the ORV. Upon speaking with the subject in the back of the ambulance, it was determined very quickly that the subject appeared to be under the influence. The medical staff stated the subject must be transported to the hospital for unknown, minor injuries. The subject was transported to the Otsego County Hospital. Liestenfeltz obtained a search warrant for the subject’s blood and is requesting OWI charges with the prosecutor’s office.
CO Sidney Collins received a complaint about a bear in a chicken and duck coop on private property in Montmorency County. The bear was looking for leftover food. Collins was able to coax the bear down from the tree and push it off into the woods.
CO Sidney Collins assisted the Montmorency County deputies in a search for a lost elderly couple. The older couple got their vehicle stuck in an unknown area on state land with poor cellphone coverage. Collins was able to locate them in a remote area after several hours of searching. The couple was found unharmed.
Sgt. Dan Bigger, along with COs Justin Vanderlinde and William Kinney, assisted in a multi-jurisdictional saturation patrol of the Platte River. National Park Service, MSP and Benzie County Sheriff’s Department teamed up with the COs to provide checks along numerous locations on the river. Focus was on marine safety overall. Bigger, Vanderlinde and Kinney completed the day-long patrol with 19 citations issued for PFD violations, 21 warnings for other violations, and contacted 515 people on the river during this time. Numerous comments were made showing appreciation for the presence of the officers and the enforcement efforts.
While patrolling a local lake in Mason County, CO Kyle Publiski overheard a call come out about of an unresponsive subject being pulled from another lake close by. Publiski loaded his boat up and headed to the other lake. Publiski arrived on scene and hooked up his automated external defibrillator and began doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation with another first responder and a retired MSP trooper. Unfortunately, the subject was pronounced dead after about 30 minutes of trying to revive him from suspected drowning.
CO Ben Shively responded to a complaint of a “mud bog” being held on Consumers Power property in Oceana County. Approximately 30 trucks were at a neighboring property and had made a road onto the Consumers’ property. Shively and an Oceana County deputy responded to the area and were able to contact five vehicles on the property; two of which were buried to the frame in the mud. Citations were issued for ORV trespass and all vehicles were removed from the property.
CO Ben Shively was patrolling in Oceana County when he observed an ORV operating on the paved roadway with no helmet and in excess of the 25-mph speed limit. Shively conducted a traffic stop on the ORV and found that he had stopped the same subject three months earlier for the same offenses. The subject was cited for no helmet and no ORV license and issued a verbal warning for speed.
CO Ben McAteer contacted a boat coming ashore off Lake Margrethe in Crawford County. After talking with the boat operator and checking several nice bluegills, McAteer began to detect the operator was intoxicated. After running the operator through sobriety tests, McAteer determined that the operator was well above the legal limit to operate a vessel. Enforcement action was taken.
While at the Crawford County Jail completing a BUI arrest, CO Ben McAteer heard several Be On the Lookout calls for a possible drunk driver. McAteer exited the jail to locate the driver and located tracks of a vehicle that were all over the dirt road and several trees that had been recently damaged. After following the tracks, the vehicle was located with a flat tire and high centered on a large grass berm. The suspected operator was located approximately 50 yards from the vehicle in the tree line. The individual was barely able to stand or formulate a sentence when contacted by McAteer. The case is pending prosecution review.
While patrolling for marine activity, COs Brad Bellville and Kyle Bader took a complaint from Ogemaw County Dispatch of an intoxicated man trying to load his boat at a boat launch. The man left before the COs could make it to the boat launch, so they went toward the residence associated with the license plate given in the complaint. They observed a vehicle turn into the driveway at the residence that matched the description with a trailer attached but no boat on the trailer. The COs went toward the launch to speak to the witness and, on the way, located a speedboat upside down on the shoulder of the road. In his intoxicated state, the man neglected to strap the boat down. He then drove a few feet off the road and hit a culvert, which caused the boat to be tossed from his trailer. Charges are being sought through the Ogemaw County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Joshua Wright was on marine patrol near Caseville when he noticed a personal watercraft (PWC) that appeared to be having difficulty. Wright contacted the operator and found out the machine was disabled, and he was waiting for a tow. The PWC displayed registration numbers that were incorrect, and that the operator was only 14 and had not taken a marine safety class. The owner was located and issued a citation for allowing a juvenile to operate a PWC.
COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas were traveling on M-20 in Isabella County when a fifth-wheel trailer traveling the other direction appeared to be dragging something. The COs noticed that a bike rack was dragging behind the trailer as well as several bikes. The COs turned the patrol truck around and got behind the trailer which was now sending bike parts into traffic. The driver was unaware what was happening. After getting the vehicle stopped the driver indicated that they were missing one of the bikes, and the remaining bikes were badly damaged. The COs stayed with the driver and his family until they could get the bikes secured.
CO Jay Person assisted the Midland City Police Department on a complaint of a subject who was baiting seagulls and shooting them in the road. A neighbor to the complainant called 911 after they witnessed the suspect put out bait and then shoot a seagull. Officers from the Midland Police Department responded and found an injured bird. Upon contact with the suspect, who denied any involvement, a consent search was done of the apartment and a pellet gun was recovered. Warrants are being sought for discharge of a firearm in the city limits and taking a protected bird.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County when he stopped to check an angler fishing a quiet cove. The angler showed the CO his livewell which contained 12 channel catfish and two softshell turtles. The CO explained the limit of 10 channel catfish to the angler as well as the season dates and possession limits for softshell turtles. The CO also asked the angler to show him a PFD, a fire extinguisher and a throwable PFD. The angler was unable to provide an operable fire extinguisher or a throwable PFD. A citation was issued.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling the Muskegon Lake channel when she observed an individual who was fishing on the pier. She contacted the individual and observed a smallmouth bass in the bucket next to him. The individual advised he had caught the fish and the fish was measured and was found to be approximately 12 inches long. A citation was issued for the possession of the short fish.
COs Casey Varriale, Jackie Miskovich and Justin Ulberg were on patrol on Wabasis Lake in Kent County when they witnessed a jet ski hit another jet ski while going at a high rate of speed. The operator that initiated the collision fell off the jet ski and struggled to get back on. Instead of helping the struggling operator, the other operator drove circles around him and sprayed him with water. Contact was made and citations were issued to both operators for endangering life and property.
CO Kyle McQueer was patrolling Lockport Township, St. Joseph County, when he observed four individuals fishing along the bank of the St. Joseph River. After contacting the individuals, it was determined one was fishing without a license and another individual was possessing an undersized smallmouth bass. A citation was issued to the individual fishing without a license and another citation was issued to the individual for possessing an undersized bass.
CO Pete Purdy was first on scene for a rural mail carrier who was run off the road and into a ditch. Purdy checked the mail carrier for any injuries and put out a BOL for the suspect vehicle. Fortunately, there were no injuries and no vehicle damages. To date the suspect has not been identified.
CO Nick Wellman received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint about a man who chased geese out of his yard on Coldwater Lake and then shot one and killed it. The goose was floating in the water in front of the house. Wellman knew there was a Branch County marine deputy on the lake and contacted him to retrieve the goose. The deputy was able to locate the goose and bring it to Wellman later that evening. Wellman and CO James Nason went the next day and contacted the suspect. They received a full confession on the killing of the goose. Wellman is submitting a report to the prosecutor’s office requesting charges.
CO Katie Stawara received a complaint of a wallet found in the woods on the complainant’s property. The complainant informed her the suspect hunts the property adjacent to his and was known to have trespassed in the past. Stawara recovered the weathered wallet to find his hunt/fish combo license was there, but his spring turkey license was missing. An interview was conducted, and a confession obtained. The suspect admitted to shooting a turkey in May and tracking it onto the complainant’s property to retrieve it. He figured he must have lost his wallet when he stopped to use the bathroom. The turkey parts were seized from the suspect and a complaint warrant is being submitted for recreational trespassing.
CO Nick Ingersoll was checking anglers at Halfway Creek and Summit Street in Erie Township when he contacted one angler pulling a fish from his cooler and threw it back. Ingersoll attempted to stop the angler before he disposed of the fish without success. Ingersoll asked the angler why he had just thrown that fish back, and he advised that he heard the size limit of the fish was 12 inches. Ingersoll asked to see the other fish that the angler had in his possession, and it was determined that the angler had a total of 13 channel catfish not including the one he had thrown back. Ingersoll advised the angler of the possession limit of channel catfish, and advised he was three over the limit. The individual was cited for possession of over limit of channel catfish.
COs Luke Robare and Thomas Peterson were on patrol in Genesee County when they found a local delivery truck crashed in a ditch. The truck was still warm and had its lights on. Peterson checked the cab of the truck to find that the driver had left the area. The truck appeared to have been stolen. MSP responded to the crash and brought out a K9 unit to assist in locating the missing driver. The driver was never located, and the investigation is still ongoing.
COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, and Danielle Zubek were on marine patrol on Lake St. Clair when they had a PWC fail to give way to their patrol boat almost causing a collision. The 19-year-old male subject was stopped, and it was found he did not know the rules of the road nor had he taken boater’s safety. He was given citations for both violations.
COs Kris Kiel and Acting Sgt. Chris Knights worked a slow/no wake patrol around the St. Clair Flats. A total of eight vessels were stopped and four citations were written for slow/no wake violations.