Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 1, 2022
Conservation Officer Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County and conducted a traffic stop on a motor vehicle. Immediately upon contact with the operator of the vehicle, CO Painter observed several signs of intoxication. CO Painter conducted standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) on the operator. The operator was placed under arrest for operating while intoxicated (OWI) with a high blood alcohol content.
CO Byron Parks was working a snowmobile patrol at a trail intersection in Gogebic County when a couple of snowmobiles on the trail could be heard approaching him. The first snowmobile to reach the intersection stopped at the stop sign and proceeded down the trail. Seconds later, the other snowmobiler approached the intersection and proceeded to drive right through the stop sign. CO Parks was able to catch the second snowmobiler before he crossed the highway at the next intersection and initiated a stop. The subject admitted he saw the stop sign and that he just didn’t stop. CO Parks issued the subject a citation for careless operation of a snowmobile.
CO Jeffrey Dell observed a man walking on a river in Menominee County while pulling an ice fishing sled. CO Dell observed a single truck, with a female occupant, parked at a nearby boat launch where the man had walked from. When he contacted the female, she stated that she was not with anyone and that the officer must have seen a stump or something. As it was apparent the female was being dishonest, CO Dell decided the man on the river might be worth watching, so he drove away and accessed the river from a different location. CO Dell observed the lone male bait and set five tip-ups and fish over a 2-hour period. The man then left the tip-ups and began walking back to the boat launch, approximately one mile away. CO Dell stopped the man before reaching the launch. The man stated he was going to get his daughter, who had gone to get bait with his mother. CO Dell noted that the man didn’t seem to have a bait problem as he had put out five tip-ups, and that two hours was a long time to get bait. A check of the man’s priors showed he had been cited for fishing with too many lines the previous year. CO Dell issued a citation for fishing with too many lines. The man was given a warning for leaving the lines unattended.
CO Steve Butzin was on patrol in Delta County when a “Be on the Lookout” was issued for a vehicle traveling towards his direction. It was reported that the passenger had the driver at gunpoint while traveling through Escanaba. The call came in from a passerby who saw this occur. CO Butzin was the closest unit and in under a minute was able to locate the vehicle and began to follow at a distance. Once an additional unit was able to arrive, CO Butzin conducted a felony traffic stop on the vehicle. Once the passengers were ordered out of the vehicle it was found that they were four juveniles who thought it would be funny to hold an airsoft gun to the driver’s head allowing others to see. The airsoft gun did not have an orange plastic tip and at a distance did appear to be a real handgun. The juveniles were well educated on the seriousness of this incident and how a situation like this could have ended tragically. The incident was turned over to the MSP, who were able to contact the parents of the involved juveniles. Agencies involved included the MSP and Gladstone Public Safety.
CO Nathan Beelman assisted the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department with a suicidal subject who was believed to have left his residence and entered a wooded area with a knife. CO Beelman assisted deputies from Emmet and Charlevoix counties and MSP troopers with securing the area and searching for the subject. The subject was later found in a nearby wooded area and was taken into protective custody for a mental evaluation. CO Beelman later assisted with securing witness statements and returning the female victim to her residence after it was discovered that the male had assaulted her prior to fleeing the residence and entering the wooded area.
CO Kyle Cherry was on patrol in Otsego County when central dispatch advised of a personal injury rollover accident with people trapped inside the car on I-75. CO Cherry responded, along with the MSP, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. Crews were able to successfully cut the subjects out of the vehicle. Only minor injuries were sustained.
CO Tim Rosochacki was the first on scene to an EMS call for a female who had overdosed on prescription pills. CO Rosochacki monitored the female’s medical state until EMS arrived on scene and took the subject to the hospital.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Albert Township in Montmorency County when he observed a vehicle approach an intersection and began to drift and do rapid accelerations causing the driver to lose control of his vehicle. CO Liestenfeltz initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and when talking to the driver, CO Liestenfeltz determined that the driver had been drinking. After putting the subject through SFSTs, the driver was determined to be intoxicated. The driver refused the preliminary breath test. CO Liestenfeltz arrested the subject for OWI. After the subject was lodged, it was determined that the driver was almost two times the legal limit.
CO Tim Barboza responded to a personal injury accident on a snowmobile trail where the operator suffered a compound fracture of his leg. The injured operator was transported off the trail in a sled for awaiting EMS.
CO Tim Barboza heard a call come out from dispatch of shots fired and with one victim hit. CO Barboza responded with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department and MSP. While enroute, dispatch updated that a father had shot his 38-year-old son in the back. It was believed that someone had taken the weapon from him. When CO Barboza arrived, the father had been handcuffed and placed in a patrol car while a deputy was attempting life-saving measures on the victim. CO Barboza hooked his Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to the victim which advised for no shock. CO Barboza, two deputies, and a trooper all worked on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and assisting in breaths with a bag valve mask for 30 minutes until the victim was deemed deceased. The father was taken to the Newaygo County Jail on homicide charges and outstanding warrants.
CO Breanna Reed assisted the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Department with the removal of around 40 dogs from a residence in Missaukee County. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating an animal abuse/neglect case.
While on snowmobile patrol, COs Adam Schiller and Dan Robinson observed an individual on a quad operating in an area closed to ORVs. The COs activated their emergency lights and attempted to catch up to the individual on their snowmobiles. The operator of the quad was driving down a narrow trail at a high rate of speed. When the trail opened up, CO Schiller was able to get in front of the operator of the quad and got him to stop. The suspect stated he did not know the COs were behind him. When asked about operating in the closed area the suspect stated he did not see the signs posted at the beginning of the trail stating it is closed. The suspect had just bought the quad and finished plowing his driveway and wanted to take it for a drive. The quad also did not have an ORV registration sticker. The individual was issued a citation for no ORV license.
CO Matt Page received a tip of an individual walking through a field without hunter orange. CO Page arrived and walked the property in question, eventually coming to a blind just off the property line. CO Page could hear subjects talking in the blind and contacted two juveniles who stated that they were hunting and were dropped off by their dads earlier in the morning. Neither subject was wearing hunter orange, one individual did not have his kill-tags on him, and when asked if they had permission to be there stated that they did and they were, “Hunting out of a trespasser’s blind.” CO Page advised them that they were the trespassers pointing out a row of no trespassing signs that the juvenile hunters disregarded while walking off the parcel that they had permission to be on. Upon checking the hunters, CO Page observed a small amount of marijuana in the blind as well. Both individuals contacted their fathers who met CO Page at the property. The juveniles were warned for trespassing, no hunters orange, no kill-tags on their person, and possession of marijuana. The juveniles were turned over to their dads who were both issued citations for allowing youth to hunt unsupervised.
CO Sam Schluckbier was patrolling on a snowmobile in Allegan County when he came upon a traffic accident which had just occurred. A truck had lost control and went into a ditch bank. CO Schluckbier rendered medical care to the driver who suffered minor injuries. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department and CO Justin Ulberg assisted at the accident scene. SFSTs were administered to the driver to ensure he was safe to continue driving the vehicle once out of the ditch. The driver was treated and released. While removing the vehicle from the ditch, three additional vehicles slid off the roadway due to heavy snowfall and poor road conditions. Local fire agencies assisted with traffic control. No additional injuries resulted from the accidents.
CO Travis Dragomer investigated an ORV trespass complaint in Berrien County. The caller had trail camera pictures of a vehicle that trespassed throughout a large portion of his property. CO Dragomer was able to locate the suspect vehicle at a nearby residence and gained a full confession of the trespass. A report will be sent to the prosecutor’s office requesting a charge for ORV trespass.
COs Cullen Knoblauch and Tom Jaakkola were patrolling in Grass Lake Township when they encountered a vehicle parked on state land. The vehicle had a flat tire, and the ignition was punched. A Law Enforcement Information Network check revealed it was stolen out of Blackman Township. The vehicle was turned over to Blackman Public Safety.
CO Tom Jaakkola assisted the MSP with a report of a stolen car at a gas station in Jackson County. CO Jaakkola located and was able to monitor the vehicle while waiting for responding units. CO Jaakkola observed the vehicle leave the station and pull into a subdivision. CO Jaakkola initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle as it turned into a private drive. CO Jaakkola detained the female driver who was ultimately turned over to the MSP upon their arrival.
CO Bob Watson received a complaint from the county sheriff’s office of a vehicle that had gone off the road and had an untagged 4-point buck inside the vehicle which appeared to be recently shot with a firearm. CO Watson seized the deer and confirmed it had recently been shot with a firearm. The driver of the vehicle had left in an ambulance and CO Watson was unable to contact him that day. CO Watson contacted the suspect at his residence three days later and obtained a confession that the man had used a 12-gauge shotgun to kill the deer days prior and had failed to tag the animal. The man claimed that he had wounded the deer with a crossbow in late December and had observed it limping around his house. Finally, the man decided to dispatch the deer by shooting it with a 12-gauge slug. The man stated he was able to shoot the deer in the same exact entry hole which he had made with his crossbow days prior so no evidence of a legal attempt to take with archery equipment would be visible. The deer was donated to a local charity, the firearm was seized, and a report submitted to the county prosecutor for review.
COs Jaime Salisbury and Raymond Gardner responded to a snowmobile accident that occurred deep in the woods on private property. Using their patrol trucks, the COs transported EMS personnel from the road back to the accident scene. The COs assisted with getting the subject on a backboard and then placed him in the back of the patrol truck. The COs transported the subject out of the woods and back to the waiting EMS rig. The person involved in the accident is currently in severe but stable condition with a positive prognosis. Had the COs not been able to assist, it would have taken much longer to get the subject out of the woods and to the help he needed.
COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek conducted a patrol at Sterling State Park checking for late season waterfowl activity. The COs contacted two individuals finishing up a morning’s hunt and while checking the hunter’s equipment, it was determined that one of the hunters had a shotgun that could hold more than three shells. The hunter was cited for the violation.
COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek conducted a patrol along Otter Creek checking for waterfowl hunting activity. The COs contacted one vessel that did not have any navigation lights, well after dark. The COs spoke with the operator of the vessel who advised that his navigation lights were frozen, and he was unable to use them. After a check was conducted of the vessel it was also determined that the two available PFDs were frozen to the floor of the vessel, and they did not possess enough PFDs for the number of occupants. CO Ingersoll advised the operator of the importance at maintaining his equipment and issued him a citation for failure to provide enough PFDs and warned him for not having navigation lights while underway.
COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek were patrolling Erie Township checking for waterfowl activity when they observed a four-wheeler traveling down the roadway. Once the operator of the four-wheeler observed the COs conduct a U-turn, the operator turned into a local field. The COs conducted a traffic stop on the four-wheeler on the other side of the field and asked him if he had permission to operate in the field. The driver stated that he did not and once he saw the COs, he did not want to be on the roadway and attempted to play it off as he was just driving through the fields. The COs advised the rider honesty goes a long way with an officer and that he should not trespass on another’s property without permission. The driver was issued a citation for not having an ORV license and warned for trespassing and operating an ORV on the public roadway.
CO Bob Watson had a Belle Isle shift and received a complaint of a Jeep Wrangler off-roading on the north end of the island and operating in an unauthorized area for motor vehicles. COs Watson and Brad Silorey responded and located the Jeep. Two subjects were inside the Jeep, and when CO Watson asked what they were doing in the area, the driver stated he was just “Enjoying the view and being free.” CO Watson explained to the man that he could not drive in this area of the park, which is why there are no roads. The man briefly argued that there was not proper signage or fencing to notify the public it was a closed area. CO Watson issued a citation for no recreational passport and a citation for operating a motor vehicle in an unauthorized area. While escorting the Jeep out of the closed area, the two COs observed the Jeep’s original point of entry and evidence showed that the man had exited his vehicle, moved two large orange road barrels that were being used to block the public’s entry into the area, driven into the closed area, and then replaced the orange road barrels behind him to hide the fact that he had entered the area.