Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 25, 2020

DISTRICT 1

CO Byron Parks was working a marine patrol on Lake Gogebic. After a few hours on the lake and checking multiple boats and kayakers, CO Parks made his way to the northeast part of Lake Gogebic where he observed a boat that appeared to have people paddling with oars. CO Parks made his way over to the boat and asked if they needed any help. One subject said the engine would not start and that they were staying at the Gogebic Lodge approximately 10 miles away. CO Parks towed their boat to the nearest launch in Bergland, where they had a friend waiting for them.

Sgt. Brian Bacon and CO Jeffrey Dell checked anglers on several inland lakes. One angler was found to be fishing with 17 bluegills in his possession without a valid license. The fish were seized and a citation for fishing without a license was issued.

CO Jeffrey Dell checked several anglers in a boat on an inland lake. When asked to show their fishing licenses, one angler showed CO Dell an expired Michigan fishing license. CO Dell asked if he had a 2020 license. The angler pointed to a 2020 Wisconsin fishing license in the same case. CO Dell informed him that since he was several miles inside the Michigan border, only a 2020 Michigan fishing license would suffice. A citation for fishing without a license was issued.

CO Jeremy Sergey, along with the Humboldt Township Fire Department, Marquette County Rescue 131, Marquette County Sheriff’s Department, UPHS-EMS-Ishpeming, and Ely Township first responders, responded to a two-vehicle accident involving a moose on M-95 in Republic. The first vehicle struck the moose causing it to be thrown into the opposite lane. Another vehicle traveled directly over the moose causing them to lose control and roll their vehicle over. The driver of that vehicle had to be extricated by the fire department.

DISTRICT 2

CO Steve Butzin was on patrol in the Garden Peninsula when he conducted a traffic stop on a pickup. When CO Butzin approached the vehicle, he observed that there were two uncased firearms in the vehicle. One firearm was a 12-gauge shotgun which the barrel was pointed at the driver’s head. The other firearm was a .410 shotgun in the hands of a 10-year-old boy who was the driver’s son. The driver was issued a citation for possession of a loaded and uncased firearm in a motor vehicle.

CO Mark Zitnik responded to a complaint of a bear in a tree above an individual’s residence. Upon arrival, CO Zitnik observed a yearling bear located approximately 25 feet up in a tree out in the homeowners’ goat pen. The CO informed the homeowner that once dark, the bear should come down. The next morning the homeowner reported he had gone outside and could see that the bear did climb down during the night.

CO Mark Zitnik was patrolling in Alger County when a call came out reporting that an 11-year-old boy had been digging a hole into the sand bank of the shore of a Lake Superior beach when the overhanging bank collapsed onto the boy. Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon was the first on scene and assisted a bystander that was digging the boy out. Sgt. Fitzgibbon began cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR once the boy was uncovered as he was unresponsive. CO Zitnik was second on scene and assisted the sergeant with CPR. The Alger County Sheriff’s Department, Alger County EMS, and MSP arrived shortly after and continued CPR. Eventually the boy was transported to Munising Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead, despite continued efforts to revive him. This was a very tragic day for Alger County.

CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol of the Lake Superior shoreline when he observed an individual who was sluicing for gold on a remote beach in Luce County. The individual was from out of state and was unsure of the laws governing prospecting for gold in Michigan. The CO was able to provide him with the rules and regulations governing gold prospecting on a Great Lakes shoreline.

DISTRICT 3

Sgt. Bill Webster and CO Andrea Erratt, while on marine patrol on Elk Lake, observed several people fishing from a pontoon boat. A couple from Illinois said they did not have Michigan fishing licenses. CO Erratt issued a fishing without a license ticket to the husband and warned the wife.

CO Nathan Beelman assisted the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department with establishing a perimeter to search for a suspect. The suspect had run from a domestic violence incident and ran into a nearby swamp. An MSP K-9 found the subject hiding in the swamp.

CO Tim Rosochacki responded to back up a Cheboygan County deputy on a suspicious situation. Upon their arrival, a male subject was in the middle of a dirt county road. The male subject was nude, and the officers were informed by a neighbor that he had taken mushrooms and several other drugs and believed he was dying. The subject was handcuffed until EMS could arrive on the scene. After being loaded into the ambulance, the subject became combative and had to be further restrained to the gurney. The deputy had to ride in the ambulance. CO Rosochacki followed for additional police presence.

CO Kyle Cherry was first on the scene of a reported man assaulting Walmart employees in Otsego County. The man was reported to have hit and pinned a Walmart employee against a wall after being angry over bottle return policies. CO Cherry arrived at the scene seconds after it was dispatched and found the suspect who had calmed down after assistance from other Walmart employees. The suspect was ultimately arrested for assault.

DISTRICT 4

CO Steven Converse was on patrol in Manistee County when he observed several sets of vehicle tracks turning off the dirt road and onto a blocked trail on Manistee National Forest land. CO Converse followed the trail up to the posts and discovered that one of the posts had fresh sand around it and there were vehicle tracks beyond the posts. CO Converse back tracked to the gate on the trail road and then drove the trail road to the end near the Manistee River. CO Converse located four vehicles and five subjects. The subjects had a camp set up and were planning to stay there for the weekend. The subjects admitted to pulling out the post and then replacing it after driving through and even packing the dirt back around the post to make it look like nothing had changed. All four vehicle owners were issued tickets for operating in a closed area and information was passed on to the U.S. Forest Service for follow up.

CO Ben Shively was patrolling Golden Township in Oceana County when he observed a golf cart operating on a public roadway. CO Shively conducted a traffic stop on the golf cart which had five passengers. Upon pulling behind the golf cart, CO Shively observed one of the rear passengers attempt to hide an open beer. CO Shively found that three of the five subjects had open containers of alcohol in the golf cart. Upon checking the driver of the golf cart, he was found to be operating an ORV with a suspended license and had four outstanding warrants with two of them being Department of Natural Resources warrants. The driver was placed under arrest on his warrants and issued citations for operating an ORV while license suspended and operating an ORV on a public roadway. The three subjects with the open intoxicants were cited for ORV open intoxicants and one of the subjects was advised and released on a warrant for OWI as they were outside of pickup range.

CO Ben Shively was conducting an evening marine patrol on Silver Lake in Oceana County when he had a jet ski pass next to him within 10 feet causing the spray of the jet ski to land inside the patrol boat. The subjects on the jet ski were stopped and the operator was cited for careless operation and educated on safe operational distance from vessels.

DISTRICT 5

CO Casey Pullum arrested a male subject for OWI on an ORV in Oscoda County. The subject was 6 foot, 3 inches tall, weighed over 300 pounds, and was only wearing his underwear. CO Pullum determined him to be intoxicated through his observations and standard field sobriety test. The subject was extremely combative and when taken to jail, refused the breathalyzer. The subject had to be restrained by multiple officers to execute the search warrant for blood authorized by the magistrate. The subject was lodged at the Oscoda County Jail for OWI on an ORV.

CO Craig Neal was recently patrolling Saginaw Bay checking perch and walleye anglers. CO Neal pulled up next to a pontoon with three anglers on it to check them for proper safety equipment and fishing licenses. Two anglers presented their fishing licenses while the third held up his driver’s license. CO Neal reiterated that he needed to see his fishing license. The angler replied, “No, you will need this license to write me a ticket for not having my fishing license.”  CO Neal issued the angler a citation for fishing without a license.

DISTRICT 6

CO Quincy Gowenlock received a call from the local area biologist asking for assistance in locating an injured bald eagle. The CO responded to the Shiawassee River State Game area (SGA) and began searching the area. A short while later the eagle was located and, after a little chase, it was captured. CO Gowenlock transported the juvenile eagle to the local raptor rehabilitator.

COs Joe Myers and Adam Beuthin, along with Sgt. Robert Hobkirk, were patrolling the Au Sable State Forest in Midland County for illegal ORV activity when they contacted three side-by-side ORVs operating in a closed area on an illegal trail. When the first side-by-side observed the COs, he tried to turn around and leave the area, but he was blocked in by the other two ORVs. All three operators were issued citations for the illegal operation on state land.

CO Dan Robinson was working state lands in Isabella County and had just cleared talking to a group camping. CO Robinson was working from his assigned dirt bike and witnessed a truck driving recklessly and doing “donuts” in a grassy area of the state land off the main roadway. The driver exited the area at a high rate of speed toward CO Robinson who activated his emergency lights and indicated the driver to stop. The driver was ultimately issued a citation for disorderly conduct in the state land and issued several warnings related to his actions.

COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas were working Isabella County when they responded to a domestic disturbance involving firearms where one of the subjects shot several rounds into the air. The COs arrived with the MSP units and assisted in the investigation. The COs were also able to find the ejected shotgun shells in the tall grass so they could be collected for evidence.

DISTRICT 7

COs Richard Cardenas and Kyle McQueer assisted the Hastings Police Department with patrolling the Thornapple River. The Hastings Police Department has received an increase in activity of citizens floating the river with tubes, kayaks, and canoes. With the increased activity, the city had also received an increase in complaints of disorderly conduct, assaults, trespassing, indecent exposure, and littering. During the patrol, the COs observed numerous kayaks and canoes with no PFDs on board. Additionally, CO Cardenas observed a subject throw a glass bottle into the river breaking it on a log. Citations were issued for the safety violations and littering.

CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling Allegan County when a call for an unknown crash came out approximately one mile from his location. The CO arrived on the scene to find the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle uninjured after nearly going head on with an electrical pole and then proceeding to jump a set of railroad tracks, only to stop just shy of entering a horse pasture. The driver was extremely intoxicated. The scene was turned over to the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department for processing.

While on patrol COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer located an angler fishing the St. Joseph River in Niles, Berrien County. COs Dragomer and Bauer conducted a fish check on the individual and it was determined that the angler did not have a valid fishing license. The individual also had four outstanding warrants. One citation was issued for fishing without a license and the individual was lodged at the Berrien County Jail on warrants.

DISTRICT 8

CO Nick Wellman was called in the middle of the night by Branch County Dispatch about an extremely intoxicated man who had stolen a rowboat with a bad leak and no PFDs. The man took the boat downstream on the St. Joseph River. CO Wellman checked into service, loaded his kayak, and responded. CO Wellman contacted family who stated that they feared the man was in danger and would most certainly fight CO Wellman when found on the river. CO Wellman launched his kayak and used his night vision to navigate the river and ultimately located the man who had no interest in fighting but was very tired trying to get back home. CO Wellman got him back to his residence and turned the issue over to the MSP who took the original call.

CO Nick Wellman was on patrol when Union City Police Department called out a fully involved structure fire and the officer stated that he was going to try to get into the house to look for trapped victims. CO Wellman was around the corner and responded to assist the officer. CO Wellman arrived and helped the fire department get water lines hooked up and a hydrant dressed while firefighters conducted an initial search for victims. Unfortunately, the homeowner was found inside the home deceased.

CO Larn R. Strawn received a Report All Poaching complaint of a corn feeder full of corn as well as mineral salts spread out in front of a hunting blind and trail camera. The bait and blind were in a densely wooded lot on private property in an area closed to the baiting and feeding of deer. CO Strawn responded to the area and located the illegal bait and hunting blind. In addition to the bait, CO Strawn located six untagged and illegal traps on the property. CO Strawn located the suspects ingress and egress into the property and tracked ORV tracks and a trail to a nearby residence. Once at the residence, CO Strawn discovered empty corn bags from a local mill in a milk crate bungee strapped to an ORV. CO Strawn contacted the ORV owner who ultimately admitted to dumping the corn and setting the traps. CO Strawn is reporting the incident to the Eaton County prosecutor for charges.

DISTRICT 9

CO David Schaumburger attended a court hearing for an angler who was in possession of 38 walleye, 32 over the limit. The judge ordered the angler to pay $1,040 in reimbursement to the state of Michigan and the defendant was prohibited from fishing for one year.

CO David Schaumburger was on ORV patrol when he witnessed an ORV riding down the road without a helmet. The CO caught up with him as he turned into a backyard at a residence and contacted him. The operator stated he just moved to the area and did not know the rules about driving on the roadway but admitted he knew he needed a helmet. The operator was given a citation for operating an ORV without a helmet.

COs Keven Luther, David Schaumburger, and Danny Walzak patrolled Belleville Lake during the busy weekend and issued numerous citations to boaters. Among the citations were exceeding the 40 mph speed limit, creating a wake under the Belleville and Denton Road bridges, creating a wake within 100 foot of docks, improper navigation lights, children under six years not wearing PFDs, no boater’s safety certificates while operating PWCs, improper registration lettering, failing to provide PFDs, and operating a vessel clockwise instead of counterclockwise on the lake. A total of 42 citations were issued, along with many warnings.

CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking anglers at Sterling State Park when he contacted an individual fishing for panfish at the launch. CO Ingersoll contacted the angler who advised he had a fantastic day fishing and was just finishing up. CO Ingersoll asked the angler how many fish he had caught, and the angler advised that he was around 25. CO Ingersoll and the angler counted the fish, and it was determined that the angler had caught 37 panfish and was over his legal limit by 12. Reimbursement is being sought for the over-limit of fish and a citation was issued for possessing an over limit.

CO Ben Lasher responded to a complaint of late target shooting in the Port Huron SGA. CO Lasher found four shooters shooting over an hour past target shooting hours in the game area. Tickets were issued for the Land Use Order violations.

COs Breanna Reed, Kris Kiel, Joe Deppen, and Brad Silorey conducted a marine patrol on Lake St. Clair and St. Clair Flats. The COs contacted many anglers and recreational boat users. COs Reed and Kiel contacted two anglers; upon contact the male subject on board stated, “She’s not actually fishing,” as the female subject on board was holding a fishing pole in her hands reeling it up. The COs found many other marine violations, citations were written for fish no license and no throwable on board. 

COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, and Joseph Deppen worked an evening marine patrol on Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair flats. Three very large vessels throwing huge wakes were stopped and written citations for violating the 600-foot slow/no wake rule.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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