Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 27, 2021

DISTRICT 1

Conservation Officer (CO) Zach Painter was working a marine patrol on Lake Gogebic. CO Painter observed a boat operating well after sunset that was not displaying navigation lights. CO Painter stopped the boat and noticed several signs of intoxication with the operator. Standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) were given to the operator. The subject was placed under arrest for operating a vessel under the influence of an intoxicating liquor.

CO Ethen Mapes backed up an Ontonagon County Sheriff’s deputy on a report of shots fired during a domestic argument. CO Mapes and the deputy were able to take one subject into custody for felonious assault, possessing a firearm while intoxicated, and domestic assault. A .22 pistol was recovered, and two rounds were found to have been discharged.

CO Jeremy Sergey was patrolling to Presque Isle Marina in Marquette County just before 7 a.m. when he noticed a moped conduct a U-turn and head toward the entrance to the isle. A few moments later as CO Sergey was approaching the closed gate to the isle, he saw the moped crash right into the ‘Park Closed” gate at Presque Isle. CO Sergey activated his emergency lights and checked on the operator. The operator seemed shaky but surprisingly not injured. CO Sergey asked the individual how much he had to drink; the individual said he had not been drinking.  Field sobriety tests and a PBT were administered with assistance from the Marquette City Police. It was determined that the individual was over twice the legal limit of intoxication for operating a motor vehicle and the subject was lodged for OWI.

DISTRICT 2

COs Todd Sumbera and Colton Gelinas were conducting marine patrol near Drummond Island when contacting individuals aboard a vessel with motor issues. The COs towed the stranded vessel with four occupants approximately one mile to a nearby marina where the occupants were able to safely exit the water.

CO Justin Vinson assisted the Mackinac County Sheriff’s Department on a call involving an 18-year-old male with possible back injuries. The male had fallen from a rope swing along the Brevort Lake shoreline, landing near the water’s edge. The young man was transported via boat to a nearby residence where his injuries were assessed. Emergency medical services (EMS) transported the male to St. Ignace to have his injuries evaluated.

COs Robert Freeborn, Steven Butzin, Mark Zitnik, and Michael Evink conducted a night patrol of Lake Michigan in response to complaints of vessels operating without navigational lights. The lake was busy with lots of boat traffic. The COs issued three tickets for not using navigation lights and gave five additional warnings. The patrol was well received due to safety concerns on the water.

CO Andrea Dani received a complaint about a dumping location on Chamberlain Road. The dump included several bags of garbage torn open and scattered by animals, as well as multiple push mowers. CO Dani located several pieces of mail within the trash showing the suspect’s name and address. CO Dani contacted the suspect who denied involvement and showed CO Dani receipts from going to the landfill with trash. Eventually the suspect confessed, stating on the last trip to the landfill, it was closed, so he decided to dump the trash in the woods. The suspect was issued a citation for knowingly dumping litter on unauthorized property and ordered to remove the trash.

DISTRICT 3

COs Andrea Erratt and Andrea Albert observed a man driving a PWC in a reckless manner very close to anchored boats and numerous people swimming. COs Dan Liestenfeltz and Jessica Curtis also saw the same PWC operator and stopped him. After failing standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) and refusing a preliminary breath test (PBT) the subject was arrested for boating under influence (BUI). 

CO Andrea Albert was traveling home after a shift patrolling Torch Lake when she observed a side-by-side ORV operating at a high rate of speed down the center of the road. CO Albert conducted a stop on the ORV and upon contact, suspected the operator was intoxicated based upon his behavior. When CO Albert asked the driver how much alcohol he had to drink, he initially stated he had nothing to drink and was very adamant that he had not drank any alcohol all day. CO Albert conducted sobriety tests and arrested and lodged the driver in jail for operating while impaired. The driver’s blood alcohol level was a .32 BAC, four times over the minimum limit of .08.

CO Tim Rosochacki, along with the Tuscarora Township Fire Department and the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department responded to a large group of kayakers in distress on the Pigeon River. Several of the kayakers had flipped over and were unable to get out of the water. CO Rosochacki was the first on scene and helped to coordinate the response. Terrain near the river was a major factor in accessing the 11 kayakers. Fortunately, everyone had PFDs and were properly prepared. The officers worked fluidly to get everyone safely back to shore.

CO Paul Fox was at his residence, when he heard radio traffic of local Presque Isle deputies responding to a suspicious person’s complaint. A subject was observed from a wireless camera attempting to break into a camper in a secluded area of the county. CO Fox was familiar with the area and responded to assist the deputies locate the individual. The deputies later identified and contacted the suspect.

DISTRICT 4

COs Justin Vanderlinde and Amanda McCurdy participated in a saturation patrol of the Platte River alongside the National Park Service, Michigan State Police and Benzie County Sheriff’s Office. Approximately 11 law enforcement officers conducted stationary and mobile patrols along the Platte River and surrounding roadways to address state and federal regulations.  Numerous citations and arrests were made for violations such as failure to provide PFDs, minors in possession (MIP) of alcohol, and outstanding misdemeanor warrants. The joint patrol ended in a minor search and rescue incident where the missing person was located several hours later in the National Park. The patrol afforded officers the opportunity to work on inter-agency coordination and communication and enhanced the recreational opportunity along the Platte River.

CO Amanda McCurdy responded to a complaint through Benzie County Central Dispatch of a medical emergency that was reported on the Old Indian Trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes.  CO McCurdy met National Park Ranger Scott Dekkers and the officers hiked until finally locating the individual, who was much farther down the trail than originally reported. The elderly patient was experiencing symptoms consistent with heat stroke and was unable to walk back to the trailhead. The Frankfort Fire Department deployed a utility terrain vehicle (UTV) along the trail, which allowed for quick medical care for the subject. The individual was transported back to the trailhead and evaluated by medical personnel.

CO Ben Shively responded with Oceana County Marine Deputy Tim Simon to a sailboat that Deputy Simon had observed to be in distress in Pentwater Lake in Oceana County. As the officers approached the sailboat, which was drifting across the lake in the high wind and waves and taking on water, the sailboat capsized with the 20-foot mast going in and under the water. They were able to bring the lone occupant onto their vessel and tow the sailboat to the opposite side of the lake, out of the wind and waves. There it was righted and towed back to the municipal access site.

DISTRICT 5

CO Charlie Jones was on ORV patrol in Kalkaska Township, Kalkaska County when he observed two suspicious vehicles parked on state land. CO Jones lost sight of the vehicles and contacted Deputy Hall from the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office to see if he could locate the vehicles. A traffic stop was conducted on one vehicle a short time later.  A consent to search was given by the driver. Approximately 5.13 grams of methamphetamine was found both in the vehicle and on the passenger along with scales and other small plastic bags. Both occupants were taken into custody and lodged at the Kalkaska County Jail. A report will be submitted to the Kalkaska County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

CO Casey Pullum was patrolling a rural county road near a remote lake in Oscoda County when he came upon a vehicle parked in the roadway. CO Pullum contacted the driver and detected signs of intoxication. The driver was asked to submit to SFSTs and take a PBT. After failing the tests and with a breath alcohol reading of .098, the driver was taken into custody and lodged at the Oscoda County Jail for OWI. The driver has four prior OWI convictions.

CO Kyle Bader assisted the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Office and Mills Township Fire/Rescue with a woman who had a medical emergency while kayaking on the Rifle River. The woman was kayaking alone when her family was unable to contact her. Mills Township firefighters were able to locate the woman struggling to cling to a log due to the current. She was having a medical emergency and her kayak was gone. They waded in and brought her to the shore. CO Bader arrived on scene and assisted the firefighters with loading her into a stokes basket and carrying her up the extremely steep grade. The trek was approximately 100 yards up the hill to a waiting EMS unit. Then CO Bader assisted in setting up a landing zone for Life Flight to evacuate the patient to the hospital.

While patrolling Sage Lake COs Brad Bellville and Kyle Bader stopped a boat for a navigation light violation. The operator was showing signs of intoxication and was asked to put on a PFD and come aboard the patrol boat for SFSTs. The investigation revealed the man’s BAC was nearly twice the legal limit to operate a watercraft. He was arrested and lodged in the Ogemaw County Jail.

COs James Garrett and Casey Pullum had just cleared an evening marine patrol on Tee Lake in Oscoda County when they observed a vehicle approaching them veer off the roadway and begin to operate on the gravel shoulder. The COs conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and suspected the driver to be highly intoxicated. SFSTs were conducted on the operator, and it was determined he was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The subject was lodged at the Oscoda County Jail.

DISTRICT 6

No new reports

DISTRICT 7

No new reports

DISTRICT 8

COs Ed Rice and Chris Reynolds conducted a marine patrol in Hillsdale County. The COs conducted a stop on a vessel for operating without an anchor light. Both COs Rice and Reynolds smelled a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the operator. COs Rice and Reynolds also observed several other signs of intoxication. The vessel was turned over to the man’s wife and the man was transported to shore. On shore, SFSTs were conducted and a PBT was administered. The man was arrested for boating under the influence and lodged at the Hillsdale County Jail.

CO Jason McCullough and Sgt. Rich Nickols were on marine patrol on the Kalamazoo River when they observed a group of shore anglers. Contact was made and several violations were found. The group was one line over their limit for the number of licensed anglers, and nine of the 10 smallmouth bass they possessed were under the 14-inch legal size. The group also had a pellet rifle in their possession and could not explain what they intended to use it for.  A citation was issued for the undersized fish.

DISTRICT 9

No new reports

GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT

CO Mark Zitnik and Cpl. Mike Hammill performed a patrol checking commercial nets and also checked many salmon fishermen in the same area. One new net was documented, and multiple salmon anglers were checked. Fishing that morning was overall slow; however, some large fish were checked.

Cpl. Brett DeLonge and Cpl. Mike Hammill ran a commercial net patrol from Marquette to the other side of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Several nets were checked, and one gillnet in particular had no identifiers tied to the net. Cpl. Brett DeLonge is in the process of contacting GLIFWC on this net.

Cpl. Brett DeLonge received a complaint of several dead fish found after weed control chemicals were dumped into a small local lake. The information was forwarded to local officers for follow-up.

Cpl. Nick Torsky attended the virtual meetings of the AIS Core Team education and outreach subcommittee, the AIS Core Team/Michigan Waterfront Alliance task force, and the bi-annual Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species.

Cpl. Nick Torsky attended three afternoons of an Organisms-in-Trade Symposium sponsored by the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, including giving a joint presentation with an Illinois warden that compared dedicated aquatic invasive species enforcement units between the two states.

Cpl. Nick Torsky conducted an AIS boating initiative patrol, partnering with volunteers from the Paradise Lake Association during the annual Great Lakes AIS Landing Blitz that is currently underway. Several boaters were educated on AIS regulations, and Cpl. Torsky utilized a permanent boat-washing station at the access site to wash the boats of several anglers.

Lt. Terry Short attended the Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers Chief’s Conference and presented on behalf of the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission’s Law Enforcement Committee. The presentation was done in conjunction with committee representatives from Ontario and Ohio, and consisted of the committee’s organization and mission and the long-standing work the committee has been involved with in the AIS enforcement field.

Cpl. Kevin Postma was dispatched to Trout Lake for a boat that was found adrift with no one around. Cpl. Postma contacted the complainant and inspected the 16-foot vessel. It was eventually determined that the vessel became loose from its dock as the winds picked up and began to drift out into the lake.  The owners were contacted, and all parties were accounted for.

Cpl. Kevin Postma responded to a domestic assault complaint at the Tahquamenon Lower Falls campground.  Cpl. Postma investigated the incident and determined that there was in fact a domestic assault between a 42-year- old stepfather and his 14-year-old stepdaughter. The stepfather, who was also in violation of his conditions of probation due to consuming alcohol, was arrested and transported to the Chippewa County Jail and lodged on the charge of domestic violence. 

Cpl. Troy VanGelderen patrolled out of Muskegon Lake into Lake Michigan patrolling shipwrecks and looking for state commercial nets with District 7 Conservation Officers.

Lt. Mike Feagan presented a case brief on red swamp crayfish at the Great Lakes Aquatic Nuisance Panel and attended the three-day conference.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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