Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 13, 2021

DISTRICT 1

COs Zach Painter and Ethen Mapes were on patrol in Ontonagon County when a “be on the lookout” call was received for a subject and the vehicle he was driving. The subject was reported to be causing a scene at a local grocery store and appeared to be very intoxicated. The COs located the vehicle a short while later and conducted a traffic stop. Signs of intoxication were observed with the operator and SFSTs were administered. The subject was placed under arrest for operating while intoxicated (OWI). The COs located open intoxicants and an uncased shotgun in the truck. The subject was charged with violations including OWI with a blood alcohol count (BAC) over 0.17, open intoxicants, operate while license revoked, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, uncased firearm in a motor vehicle, no registration, and no insurance. The subject was lodged at the Ontonagon County Jail.

CO Josh Boudreaux was patrolling the Huron Islands on Lake Superior when Marquette County Central Dispatch contacted him, asking if he could see smoke to the south in the Huron Mountain Club. CO Boudreaux worked the shoreline looking for smoke but was unable to locate any. After learning the fire was located on a high ridge on the backside of a remote inland lake miles from the nearest road, CO Boudreaux coordinated with the local fire department and DNR fire resources personnel to haul his patrol boat into the area to assist with shuttling firefighters and equipment. After multiple equipment and personnel shuttles to the fire, which was caused by a lightning strike, it was successfully extinguished. Talking with staff at the club, CO Boudreaux learned that it had been over 50 years since a motorized boat had been on that lake.

COs John Kamps and Josh Boudreau paired with District 2 CO Steve Butzin to complete an illegal deer investigation. COs Kamps and Boudreau conducted an interview and obtained a full confession for two illegal deer. One 8-point deer from 2019 and one 8-point deer from 2020. Both deer were taken without a license. The subject purchased licenses only after harvesting the deer. CO Butzin was able to later follow up with the suspect and seize evidence.  Charges are pending with the prosecutor’s office.

DISTRICT 2

CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol of Big Manistique Lake when he heard a call for assistance from a nearby Luce County Sheriff’s deputy. The deputy was on a PWC and located a sailboat that had capsized in the wind and waves with two adults and a child on board. While attempting to assist the distressed vessel, the deputy’s patrol vessel became tangled in lines in the water, immobilizing his vessel. CO VanOosten responded from a short distance away, locating the sailboat with the male victim still in the water struggling to right the vessel. The victims personal flotation device had come off and the subject appeared to be fatigued. CO VanOosten assisted the male subject onto his patrol boat equipped him with a more suitable PFD, was able to assist the man in righting his vessel and towing it to shore.

CO Todd Sumbera was conducting a marine patrol in the Les Cheneaux Islands when contacting a boat with three anglers. CO Sumbera asked if they were having any luck and they stated, “It is pretty slow.” The young child on the boat then yelled, “We have a pike in the cooler!” CO Sumbera asked the kid how big it was, and she stated, “It’s 20 inches.” The angler who caught the fish quickly claimed the fish swallowed the hook and was dead in the cooler. The pike was found to still be flopping around. A citation was issued for possession of an undersized northern pike.

COs Michael Evink and Steven Butzin conducted a patrol of Lake Michigan.  As soon as the COs left port, they were flagged down by a stranded salmon boat. The COs assisted the boat and safely returned it to the marina and continued their patrol. There were a lot of fishing boats out due to the hot salmon bite. The COs issued one ticket for fishing with too many lines.

DISTRICT 3

CO Andrea Erratt attended a Tip of the Mitt Watershed boat washing event held at a Walloon Lake access site. CO Erratt talked to boaters and anglers from Indiana who said they had never seen a boat washing station to curb the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). While they got their boats washed, CO Erratt explained Michigan law requires boaters to empty live wells and remove drain plugs after pulling boats out of the lake. The Tip of the Mitt workers thanked CO Erratt for stopping by and said boaters are more eager to have their boats washed when a conservation officer is there.

CO Andrea Albert participated in a free fish expo at the Elk Rapids Harbor that is put on by local anglers who like to promote fishing and teach others how and where to fish. CO Albert answered law questions and provided informational brochures and handouts to participants.

COs Chad Baldwin, Duane Budreau, and Sgt. Bill Webster participated in the presidential security detail during President Biden’s trip to Antrim County.  No major incidents occurred, and the event was successful due to the collaboration of many local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

CO Adam LeClerc was checking bear bait areas while on patrol in heavy rain.  He observed vehicle tracks going into a dead-end road but none coming out. At the end was a truck with multiple buckets used for bear baits. CO LeClerc was familiar with the truck and had seen it in the area the previous year.  CO LeClerc met the individual about 10 feet from his bear bait just after he had loaded it with bait. When asked what they were doing, the individual responded, “You know what I’m doing.”  The individual picked up all the bait and placed it back in the bucket before returning to the truck. A ticket was issued for establishing a bear bait more than 31 days before bear season.

COs Nathan Beelman, Chad Baldwin, Tim Rosochacki, Kyle Cherry, Dan Liestenfeltz, and Jessica Curtis were on scene two minutes after receiving a call for a subject in the water who suffered a spinal cord injury.  The group was on a designated enforcement patrol on Lake Charlevoix and overheard the medical call.  The COs arrived on scene and secured the subject who did not have feeling in his extremities from his mid-chest down after he dove headfirst off from a boat into waist deep water.  The subject also had severe back and neck pain.  The subject’s friends assisted him out of the water and stabilized him on a nearby paddleboard while a second boat called 911.  COs Rosochacki and Beelman jumped into the water and stabilized the subject so he could be loaded onto a nearby patrol boat.  CO Baldwin coordinated with local EMS to find a spot where the subject could be extricated from the lake.  The subject was escorted across the lake by patrol boat and transferred to the care of EMS.

DISTRICT 4

COs William Kinney and Rich Stowe were patrolling through Grand Traverse County. While driving, the COs witnessed a dirt bike riding on one wheel at a high rate of speed directly behind a pickup. A traffic stop was made on the dirt bike for the careless driving. It was discovered that the operator was a 17-year-old individual. In addition, the operator had also neglected to legally license the ORV. The operator was cited for the violation.

CO Josiah Killingbeck responded to a report of a subject who had been run over by a pontoon boat on a lake in Lake County. CO Killingbeck learned that the victim was injured. CO Killingbeck contacted the suspect boat and interviews were conducted. CO Killingbeck determined the boat that hit the victim had been distracted while operating and was not paying attention to the course of operation. The victim was taken to the hospital and CO Killingbeck is conducting a boating accident investigation, with a report being sent to the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office for reckless marine operation.

COs Jeff Ginn, Ben Shively, and Sgt. Mike Bomay conducted a marine patrol on the Muskegon River in Newaygo County when they observed two shore anglers frantically moving around the shoreline. When contact was made it was determined that one subject was handing his wife several jug lines (plastic pop bottles with line, weight and hooks attached) as the COs approached. She attempted to hide the unlawful fishing devices in the weeds on shore. The couple was fishing a log jam and were very productive in catching pan fish with the devices. They were in possession of 17 rock bass on a stringer and neither angler had purchased a fishing license. The husband was cited for fishing without a license.

DISTRICT 5

COs Breanna Reed and Jeremy Cantrell received a complaint of multiple illegal buoys on Houghton Lake that had been placed in front of private residences. The COs patrolled to the location and spoke with the property owner.  The property owner stated they were unaware that they needed a permit to have the buoys in front of their house. CO Cantrell explained that it becomes a navigational hazard. Information was given to the property owner on how to obtain a permit and the subject was issued a warning for the violation.  They were given 24 hours to remove the buoys.

CO Craig Neal received a complaint of a snowmobile in the water on Saginaw Bay just north of the Pine River. CO Neal, with assistance from CO Josh Wright, were able to locate the snowmobile in the water and get the vehicle identification number off the machine.  CO Neal interviewed the registered owner at his residence. The owner initially denied owning a snowmobile and said he got rid of his snowmobile.  After further questioning, CO Neal was able to obtain a confession. The owner admitted he was out ice fishing last winter and his snowmobile went through the ice. He stated that he went looking for it once the ice melted but could not find it and figured someone else had found it first. CO Neal issued the owner a citation for littering and gave him one week to get his snowmobile out of the water or another citation would be issued. A follow up check revealed that the snowmobile had been removed from the waters of Saginaw Bay.

DISTRICT 6

• COs Seth Rhodea and Josh Wright were patrolling on Saginaw Bay when they observed a PWC being operated at high speeds within 100 feet of anchored boats. Additionally, the passenger on the PWC was not wearing a PFD. A stop was made, and citations were issued for failing to wear a PFD and for operating violations.

• COs Dan Robinson and Mike Haas were working in the Stanton SGA when they came across an illegal camp.  Several individuals were camping during the closed season for dispersed camping. There were two cars and a motorcycle with the group, but the group claimed the unregistered motorcycle did not belong to anyone in their group. CO Haas used his issued night vision binoculars and was able to locate a subject hiding in the woods who was found to have a misdemeanor warrant and was on parole. Citations were issued to the group and the subject with the warrants was advised and released.

DISTRICT 7

• COs from Districts 4, 6, 7, and 8 patrolled Grand Haven State Park. There were unruly crowds that caused the closing of the south pier by Grand Haven Public Safety. The crowd moved its way into the park and, after multiple fights broke out within the crowd, the decision was made to close the park to all non-campers. With the help of Grand Haven Public Safety and Parks and Recreation Division (PRD) staff, the park was successfully closed with minimal issues. Throughout the day multiple individuals were contacted and cited for alcohol violations.

COs Anna Cullen and Jackie Miskovich were patrolling the Muskegon Lake channel when they observed an individual operating a jet ski in a reckless manner. The COs pulled the vessel over and contacted the operator. It was determined the operator was new to vessel operation and was not aware of basic marine rules, like slow no wake areas. It was also determined that the operator had two outstanding warrants, both outside of Muskegon County. Both warrants were confirmed but were advise and release. A citation was issued for failing to obtain boater’s safety before vessel operation, while warnings were issued for the rest of the violations.

CO Carter Woodwyk received a complaint of a subject illegally camping in the Allegan SGA in Allegan County.  The subject admitted to camping in this location for a couple of weeks but was unaware of legal camping dates. A file check revealed a valid arrest warrant, and the camper was arrested on the warrant and turned over to the MSP for transportation to jail.

CO Carter Woodwyk assisted the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department and other first responders in a search and rescue, turned recovery effort, for a subject that was scuba diving in the Kalamazoo River just below the Allegan Dam. The diver worked for a private engineering firm contracted to inspect the dam structure. The cause of the drowning is under investigation.

DISTRICT 8

CO Nick Wellman assisted with a 20-month-old child actively having seizures. The EMS crew was approximately 30 minutes away. CO Wellman went to assist with the child until EMS arrived.

CO Nick Wellman responded to a capsized vessel during a marine patrol.  Everyone was out safely. CO Wellman worked with a local tow company after the fact to remove the sunken boat from the Sauk River.

CO Nick Wellman worked the Coldwater River and St. Joe River confluence during the weekend due to high water and several rescues taking place during the week.

DISTRICT 9

COs Danielle Zubek, Mike Drexler, Keven Luther, Luke Robare, and Sgt. Jason Becker responded to a call for assistance from Northville Police Department and PRD staff with a search and rescue operation in Maybury State Park. The subject had been reported missing for over 24 hours. The missing person’s vehicle had been in the park overnight. The COs were able to cover trails and sections of the park not easily accessible to local law enforcement and fire department personnel. The subject was located by the MSP canine team. The subject was deceased when located.

COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey were working marine patrol on Lake St. Clair. The COs noticed two jet ski operators entering a slow no wake area. The COs noted the PFDs worn by the operators appeared very thin.  The COs stopped the operators who assured the COs they were US Coast Guard approved PFDs. When inspected and turned inside out, the PFD read, “WARNING-ATTENTION: This garment is NOT a life jacket or flotation device.” COs issued each operator a citation for operating a PWC without a PFD and a verbal warning for no boater’s safety certificate. The riders understood and just complained the lifesaving ones were too uncomfortable. The COs explained actual PFDs will save their life and keep them afloat if they ever fall off or have a collision on the water. 

CO Mike Drexler received a call from the Park Supervisor at Pinckney Recreation Area about an ORV that was broken down on the Potawatomi Trail.  CO Drexler picked up Park Supervisor Shane Morse and the two arrived at a trail crossing just as three subjects were riding the ORV down the trail. In addition to riding on a closed trail, none of the riders were wearing helmets and the ORV was not registered. Citations were issued for ORV without helmet and operate unregistered ORV, and a warning was issued for operating in a closed area.

COs Brandon Hartleben and Andrew Monnich were closing out their weekend patrol on Devils Lake when they observed a vessel still sitting at the sandbar on Devils Lake. The occupants appeared to still be drinking so the COs took note and went to help address an issue with recovering a disabled PWC.  While helping facilitate the removal of the disabled PWC, the COs observed the vessel from previously heading across the lake towards the launch without an anchor light. The COs contacted the vessel to address the issue and it became clear that the operator had consumed a significant amount of alcohol, as his balance, speech, eyes, and actions all indicated impairment.  With the assistance of a sober passenger, the vessel was guided safely to the boat launch. At the launch, the operator was administered SFSTs, which he failed, and given a PBT with a .187 result. The vessel operator was placed under arrest for BUI.

COs Nicholas Ingersoll, Andy Monnich, and Eric Smithers conducted a patrol on Devils Lake. They contacted several hundred individuals enjoying the holiday weekend and issued a handful of citations for various marine laws and issued a couple dozen warnings for multiple violations. They observed a jet ski leave the sand bar and the operator was not wearing his PFD properly. It was determined he was under the influence and should not be driving. After the driver was administered SFSTs and consented to a PBT, which resulted in .156, he was arrested for BUI.

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