New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 29, 2020
(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.)
Tractor Trailer Rollover
On April 23, ECO Evan Crisafulli responded to an overturned tractor trailer on the Long Island Expressway entrance ramp at Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens County. The tractor trailer was towing a flatbed filled with scrap cars to be recycled when it overturned. A minimal amount of vehicle fluid leaked out from the scrap vehicles and the spill was treated by the New York City Fire Department’s Hazardous Material Unit. Fortunately for the driver, the diesel fuel tank was not compromised and he walked away with only a towing bill for setting the tractor trailer upright.
On April 15, ECOs Glen Parker and Ricky Wood responded to a bear complaint in Rock Hill. Upon arrival, the ECOs found two yearling black bears stuck inside a shed. The bears had knocked over a number of items inside the shed and were trapped inside. With assistance from two New York State troopers, the ECOs were able to open the shed doors just wide enough for the bears to escape back into the nearby forest.
Injured Owl Fledgling
On April 22, ECOs Glen Parker and Christopher Doroski responded to reports of an injured owl fledgling in the town of Neversink. Upon arrival, the officers located the owl and captured it without incident. The owl was taken to the New Paltz Animal Hospital where it was evaluated and determined to be underweight and suffering from an injured keel. The owl will be relayed to the Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center for recovery after its injuries are treated.
On April 24, ECO Michael Hameline responded to a call in the City of Beacon for a report of an animal stuck in a fence. Upon his arrival, ECO Hameline located a muskrat in a chain link fence. The ECO safely removed the muskrat from the fence without causing further injury to the animal or damage to the fence. The muskrat was transferred to Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center for rehabilitation.
NYSDEC ECOs Continue Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
On April 25, ECOs continued their service to the state since the outbreak of COVID-19 at the Anthony Wayne Recreational Area testing site in Stony Point. ECOs performed site security, helping to ensure an orderly and safe environment, while enforcing federal HIPAA laws. Officers also assisted with the check-in process as hundreds of people showed up for tests.
(Kings County )
ECOs have been responding to the pandemic at various testing centers throughout New York State and have mobilized for a variety of roles such as Incident Command System functions, site security, traffic control and technical services such as fit testing. On-site fit testing of N95 respirators ensures a proper seal and adequate protection from airborne particles for medical personnel and other first responders while performing their duties. At the Brooklyn Emergency Operation Center, ECOs Ryan Grogan and Dylan Schuck fit tested first responders before they reported to the drive-thru testing center in Kings County.
ATV and Dumping Enforcement
On May 1, Forest Ranger Scott Hicks responded to several public complaints of illegal off-roading activity within the Rocky Point Natural Resource Management Area in Brookhaven, Suffolk County, on Long Island. Ranger Hicks’ proactive patrol netted seven operators of all-terrain vehicles, resulting in 18 related summonses for the offenders. Charges included: trespassing on posted lands; operating an ATV on public land; operating a 4×4 vehicle off-road on public land within the county of Suffolk; operating an ATV without a helmet; operating an unregistered ATV; failure to display a plate on an ATV; and operating an ATV without liability insurance in effect. In addition, on May 3, Ranger Hicks participated in a multi-agency ATV detail with the Central Pine Barrens Commission’s Law Enforcement Council to deter off-road activities. He also began investigations into five illegal dumping complaints at Rocky Point.
Raccoons are Not Pets
(New York County)
On April 29, ECOs Alexander Shea and Brendan Dickson responded to a complaint about raccoon cubs being kept in an apartment in Manhattan. When the ECOs arrived at the address, the officers spoke with a couple caring for the raccoons. The couple alleged the raccoons were dropped off at their doorstep. After educating the couple that raccoons are a rabies vector species and prone to several diseases, a written warning was issued to the pair for possessing the raccoons without a Rabies Vector Species Wildlife Rehabilitator License. The raccoons were taken to a licensed rehabilitator where they are being given proper care and released when healthy and mature.
On April 30, ECO Brian Farrish assisted DEC fisheries staff with stocking trout at several sites in Suffolk County and provided crowd control to ensure social distancing. DEC stocked approximately 1,750 brown and rainbow trout that day as part of the larger regional stocking effort that stocked a total of more than 16,600 trout. More pictures and details can be found on DEC’s Facebook page.
Security at COVID-19 Testing Site (Rockland County)
On May 3, ECOs performed security and speed enforcement at the entrance of the COVID-19 testing site at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area in Stony Point, Rockland County. ECOs were also stationed just outside the sampling tent where nurses tested patients driving through the site. New York State ECOs have continued to serve in many different roles at state testing sites, working alongside staff from DEC, other state agencies, and the New York Army National Guard.
Red Phase Screech Owl Rehabbed and Safely Released
On May 3, ECO Jeff Hull returned a Red Morph Screech Owl back to its natural habitat. The owl had been struck by a car on March 2, injuring its eye and affecting its ability to fly. Cornell Wildlife Clinic medicated and released the owl to Oneida County wildlife rehabilitator Judith Cusworth. After two months of rehabilitation, the owl was returned to its natural habitat in the town of Verona. Red Phase Screech Owls are uncommon, making up only one-third of the screech owl population.