Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO), Brian Lasanen and PCO Phil Helminen conducted a marine patrol on the Portage Waterway in Houghton County. PCO Helminen noticed a pontoon boat operating after dark without the required navigation lights. While approaching the boat, the boat operator jumped up from the driver's seat and switched seats with a female passenger. Once contact was made with the original driver, the COs advised they observed him switch seats with the passenger. The male subject admitted that he was driving the boat. While talking with the occupants, both COs could smell a strong odor of intoxicants emitting from the boat. The driver admitted to having two White Claws. The COs secured both their patrol boat and the suspect boat to a nearby public dock to further their investigation. While at the dock, both subjects were administered SFSTs. The female was determined to be safe to operate the boat, but the male operator was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI).
COs Jared Ferguson, Anna Viau, Cody Smith, PCO Alex VanWagner, and Sergeant (Sgt.) Brian Bacon responded to a report of a missing 21-year-old male near the Net River in Iron County. The Iron County Sheriff's Office requested help in locating the missing subject after his vehicle was found submerged in the river the previous day with no occupants. Multiple articles of clothing were located, and the COs attempted to locate the subject using side scan sonar and canoes and kayaks. The sheriff's office also assisted with a drone in attempt to locate the subject. The deceased male subject was located the following day by the MSP Dive Team.
CO Zach Painter and PCO Alex VanWagner responded to the report of a single all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crash on the Pioneer Trail in Matchwood Township, Ontonagon County. Dispatch advised the operator of the ATV had struck a pole while traveling on the trail and injuries were unknown. CO Painter and PCO VanWagner arrived on scene and observed a female lying on the trail and medically evaluated her until emergency medical services (EMS) arrived with the rescue pod. The female complained of some neck pain and pain in her abdominal area. She was transported to the hospital for treatment.
CO Todd Sumbera was conducting a marine patrol around Drummond Island when he observed an individual operating a personal watercraft (PWC) without a personal floatation device (PFD). CO Sumbera conducted a stop on the PWC operator in violation and found that the PWC had an expired registration as well. A citation was issued for operating a PWC without a PFD, and a warning was given for the expired registration.
COs Colton Gelinas, Cole VanOosten, Justin Vinson, Mike Evink, Corporal Kevin Postma and Sgt. Calvin Smith assisted the Mackinac County Sheriff's Department with the search for a missing four-year-old girl near Engadine. After 24 hours of searching, the young girl was found by one of the volunteers. The child was unharmed and reunited with her family. Several hundred people from the community showed up and assisted with the search. Many local businesses and people made contributions of food and beverages to help support those searching. The entire community really pulled together to help as the word spread of the situation, our thanks go out to all.
CO Justin Vinson was on patrol in Luce County when he observed an ORV being operated on a state highway. CO Vinson conducted a stop and advised him that it is illegal to operate an ORV on a state highway. CO Vinson gave the individual directions on how to legally return to his vehicle without operating on the state highway and issued a verbal warning. Not ten minutes later, CO Vinson observed the same ORV and subject operating in the same location this time against the flow of traffic on the state highway. A stop was made and this time the operator received a citation for operating an ORV on a state highway.
While on assignment in the DNR Pocket Park at the UP State Fair in Escanaba, COs Andrea Dani, Shannon Kritz, and Lt. Jason Wicklund were requested to assist an elderly woman suffering from symptoms of heat exhaustion. The woman was pale and light-headed, and appeared to be dehydrated. The COs and other Pocket Park staff assisted the woman into a chair that was rolled into the air conditioned DNR building, where she was provided with water and ice to cool down. The woman was then checked by EMS and was able to be assisted back to her vehicle.
COs Andrea Dani and Mark Zitnik assisted Alger County Sheriff Sgt. Grahovac with a lost kayaker on the Indian River. Dispatch advised a couple had gotten lost and then separated. The wife found her way out but did not know how to get to her husband's location. Officers worked with the wife to narrow the search area. CO Zitnik and Sgt. Grahovac hiked down the river's edge while CO Dani checked potential exiting locations. CO Zitnik and Sgt. Grahovac located the subject and walked him out of the woods. The male was checked by EMS and reunited with his wife.
COs Duane Budreau, Chad Baldwin, and Nathan Beelman conducted a hunter safety class in Harbor Springs for approximately 15 students. Although the class size was small, students traveled from all over northern Michigan due to the lack of availability of classes. The students had completed the online portion of the curriculum and the COs completed the field day portion which focused on the laws and regulations of hunting in Michigan, firearm actions and proper handling, tree stand safety, fields of fire, .22 rifle marksmanship, and crossing fences and streams while hunting. Overall, the class was successful, and the COs had students with positive attitudes and good participation.
CO Adam LeClerc finally closed out a bear case from last season which involved six suspects. A bear was taken on property where the suspects did not have permission. The suspects all pled guilty to recreational trespass. The bear skull, hide, and meat were all seized as part of the case.
CO Andrea Albert conducted a traffic stop on a motor vehicle for suspected drunk driving and no license plate on a late Sunday evening, in a rural northern part of Antrim County. The vehicle pulled over, but only to let the passengers get out. After the passengers exited the vehicle, the driver started to flee from CO Albert at a high rate of speed. CO Albert pursued the vehicle for about 15 minutes for over 13 miles in the northwest portion of Antrim County. At the end of the pursuit, the driver missed a turn and went down a slight embankment crashing through thick brush and trees, coming to rest up against several trees well off the roadway into the woods. The driver fled on foot and hid in the dark thick woods and brush. An MSP K-9 unit diligently searched the heavily wooded area while assisting officers boxed in the location and kept a look out for the driver. The driver was not located. CO Albert conducted a follow up investigation and identified the driver of the vehicle through numerous interviews and search warrants. A warrant request for flee and elude second degree and resist and obstruct an officer will be submitted to the prosecutor's office for review. The subject identified as the driver in this incident has been previously charged, convicted, and suspected in three additional incidents of fleeing and eluding police officers. CO Albert was assisted by additional COs, the Antrim County Sheriff's Department, the Charlevoix County Sheriff's Department and MSP.
CO Kyle Cherry, Sgt. Mark DePew, and an MSP K-9 trooper responded to a report of two kayakers who had become stranded late at night on a remote section of the Sturgeon River in Otsego County. The kayakers were able to get enough service to dial 911 and advise that they had become lost and too exhausted to continue paddling. The COs and trooper responded to the approximate global positioning system (GPS) location where they then started walking the riverbank through rough terrain. Eventually, the COs and trooper were able to locate the stranded paddlers, lead them out to a patrol vehicle, and transport them to safety.
CO Kyle Cherry was patrolling in Otsego County when he observed a four-seater Polaris side-by-side operating on a closed trail. CO Cherry conducted a traffic stop on the ORV. CO Cherry pointed out to the driver who stated he had no idea why he was stopped, four signs in front of and behind his side-by-side that designated the trail closed to ORVs. The driver stated he did not know that his Polaris RZR was considered an ORV. A ticket was issued.
COs Jon Sheppard and Jessie Curtis assisted the Montmorency County Sheriff's Department and Alpena Search and Rescue with a search for a missing suicidal person. The individual was located deceased on state land.
COs Jon Sheppard and Jessie Curtis taught a hunter's education class at the Alpena Sportsman Club.
COs Paul Fox, Jon Sklba, and Timothy Rosochacki participated in the joint military training Northern Strike. The training included multiple branches of the military, DNR, MSP, and Alpena County Sheriff's Department. The training involved vessel and aircraft assault and defense tactics and maneuvers.
COs Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz taught a hunter education class at Canada Creek Ranch in Montmorency County. The COs taught the law portion, shared their fur kit with the class and had lunch with them sharing hunting stories and interacting with the youth.
CO Sidney Collins was first on scene to a domestic assault in Montmorency County. A homeowner was punched in the face by his roommate over doing methamphetamines in the home. CO Collins showed up and secured the scene. The homeowner was treated by an ambulance for a cut to his face and a bloody nose. Charges were submitted to the court for domestic assault.
COs Sidney Collins, Tim Rosochacki, and Dan Liestenfeltz had just finished patrolling the Indian River boat races when they responded to a 911 call of a swimmer in distress near a pontoon boat on Burt Lake in Cheboygan County. Once the COs located the vessel, they observed several people in the water to the rear of it. They were advised that one of the subjects in the water had a pacemaker and it was believed to have activated. At this time, the family members had put PFDs under the victim to keep him afloat. The victim was conscious and breathing but unresponsive. CO Rosochacki entered the water to assist, and the vessel was then used to slowly maneuver everyone close enough to shore so that they could float the victim the rest of the way in. CO Collins relayed medical updates to Cheboygan County Dispatch as well as the location they were coming ashore to. CO Collins got in the water to assist, while CO Liestenfeltz retrieved the medical bag in the boat. At this point the victim was no longer conscious or breathing. The COs, along with family members, had a large rock wall to scale up with the victim despite high winds and waves. First responders took over and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The victim regained a pulse and consciousness after approximately a minute and a half of CPR. He was loaded into the ambulance for further care at the local hospital
CO Sidney Collins and Dan Liestenfeltz responded to an ORV accident in Montmorency County. The COs were first on scene in a remote area and gave directions to the ambulance. The COs rendered first-aid to the victim who was driving his side-by-side when he was impaled by a large tree branch. The COs checked the wound site to make sure there was not excessive bleeding. The large branch impaled the driver of the ORV in his right upper thigh and pinned him to the seat. The COs had to cut away another large tree branch with a saw to access the victim in the side-by-side. Once EMS was on scene, the COs, EMTs, and fire department cut away the remainder of the branch with a Sawzall, that was impaled in the thigh, in order to remove the victim out of the side-by-side. The victim was then carried out on a stretcher to a waiting local ambulance. CO Collins was able to get a helicopter to come and meet the ambulance.
While patrolling Alpena County, CO Jon Sheppard witnessed a truck slow down on Piper Road and accelerate quickly, spinning its tires. CO Sheppard conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Upon reaching the driver's side door, CO Sheppard noticed the smell of alcohol and saw two beer cans in the center console cup holders. CO Sheppard ran the driver through field sobriety tests. After the tests, the driver took a preliminary breath test (PBT). After the results of the tests, the driver was placed under arrest for operating while intoxicated (OWI). The driver was lodged at the Alpena County Jail.
COs William Kinney, Ryan Andrews, Steve Converse, and Amanda Weaver participated in a hunter safety class at Walton Junction Sportsman's Club in Grand Traverse County. The COs taught the legal portion of the class and then operated the shooting range for the field day. Many first-time shooters were able to fire a .22 caliber rifle and gain confidence with safe firearm handling.
CO Amanda Weaver responded to a complaint of a possible drowning in Benzie County along the Platte River. When CO Weaver arrived on scene, the patient was semi-conscious but not lucid and had been brought to the side of the river by his family. CO Weaver recruited several family members to help carry the patient up the side of the riverbank to a flat, dry surface. EMS arrived shortly after and CO Weaver, along with EMS personnel, loaded the subject onto a stretcher and carried him to the ambulance. The patient was transported to the hospital where he remains in critical condition.
CO Micah Hintze was patrolling federal land when he observed an ORV enter onto a federal road, entering the public land. CO Hintze stopped and spoke with the operator, a 16-year-old boy, and a relative. The driver stated he was just showing his relative around the area and was unaware of the violations with operating an ORV on federal land. The driver produced a valid ORV safety certificate, was educated on public land operation, and given a verbal warning before leaving.
CO Jeff Ginn assisted the Newaygo Fire Department on a powerline which was down blocking a boating access site after severe weather. The powerline was blocking the access site and anglers were temporarily trapped at the BAS. Consumer's Power was requested to de-energize the line allowing the anglers to exit safely.
CO Ben Shively rendered aid to a vessel, that was five miles outside of Pentwater in Lake Michigan, who experienced motor failure. The subjects had just set their first down rigger when the vessel stopped and would not restart. CO Shively was able to locate the vessel and tow the two subjects in the 22-foot vessel back to the access site in Pentwater Lake.
CO John Huspen and PCO Jack Gorno witnessed a PWC jumping the wake of another vessel, who was towing an individual on a wakeboard on Lake Margrethe. The COs initiated a stop on the PWC and boat. The COs could smell marijuana coming from the boat and the displayed registration on the vessel showed expired. Further investigation showed, the PWC and the boat were from the same camp. The PWC had no registration displayed and no fire extinguisher. The boat registration was expired, the title had not been transferred after purchase, and the vessel needed four more PFDs. The individual on the PWC was cited for no displayed registration, and the boat was cited for failure to provide enough PFDs.
COs Chuck McPherson, Charlie Jones, John Huspen, PCO Jack Gorno, and Sgt. Brian Olsen assisted with a hunter's safety field day at Roscommon Baptist Church. The COs gave presentations on the law, first aid, search and rescue, and safe firearm handling.
District 5 COs participated in a joint training on Higgins Lake with the Roscommon County Sheriff's Department Marine Division and Dive Team. The training included the use of side scan sonar devices on DNR patrol vessels. Vessel operators floated over divers and objects in different positions and depth to better identify what the electronics would display. This training will be very beneficial for water rescue operations in the future.
COs Kyle Bader, Brad Bellville, and PCO Zackary Walters assisted volunteers at the Rifle Creek Archery Park in West Branch with a hunter's safety field day. Hunter safety certificates were issued to 13 students.
CO Casey Pullum and PCO Cullen Knoblauch received a phone call from a subject in Oscoda County who self-reported shooting a bobcat he thought was a coyote. The COs responded and interviewed the suspect. During the interview, it was determined he was coyote hunting when he saw what he thought was a small coyote, shot it and later found it to be a bobcat. The COs determined he did not have any hunting licenses for 2021. The bobcat was seized, and charges have been submitted to the Oscoda County Prosecutor's Office for hunting coyote without a license.
COs Casey Pullum, James Garrett, Ben McAteer, Jeff Panich, Jesse Grzechowski, Jon Warner, Tyler Sabuda, Brad Bellville, Kyle Bader, Sgt. Bobbi Lively, and PCOs Cullen Knoblauch and Zackary Walters hosted a hunter safety field day in Oscoda County. Approximately 21 students participated and obtained hunter safety certificates.
While on a recent marine patrol, CO Kyle Bucholtz located a jet ski a few miles offshore in the Saginaw Bay. A male was observed sitting on the jet ski with a dog and a female was found swimming near the jet ski. CO Bucholtz learned the jet ski had become disabled and the occupants had flipped it numerous times attempting to get back on. After multiple failed attempts to re-board the machine, the female decided to wait in the water until a tow boat could come assist. The subjects had been waiting close to two hours before being found by CO Bucholtz. Due to the growing winds and waves on the bay, CO Bucholtz asked the occupants to board his patrol boat. The jet ski was then towed back to shore with the two occupants and their dog on board the patrol boat. No injuries were reported, and everyone arrived on shore safely.
COs Travis Dragomer and Zach Bauer interviewed a hunter last spring regarding a possible deer that was shot without a license. After interviewing the hunter, it was determined that the hunter shot the deer and purchased a hunting license after the fact. CO Bauer submitted a report to the Cass County Prosecutor's Office and charges were recently approved for hunting without a license as well as taking an antlered deer without a license.
While working a state park patrol at Warren Dunes State Park, CO Matt Page overheard a drowning call come in at a nearby park. CO Page drove to the area and assisted local officers and paramedics with a drowning victim who was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
CO Sam Schluckbier was on marine patrol when he observed a pontoon operating too fast in a slow no wake zone. Upon stopping the vessel, a two-year-old girl was found on board not wearing a PFD and there was no child PFD available for the infant to wear. The operator was given a warning for the speeding violation and a citation was issued for the PFD safety violation. The boat was ordered to return to the dock immediately to obtain necessary safety equipment.
CO Sam Schluckbier responded to a Mayday call from a boater in distress near the Saugatuck Piers. The caller reported that a female was missing in Lake Michigan after jumping off an anchored boat. CO Schluckbier responded along with the Allegan County Dive Team, MSP Dive Team, US Coast Guard, and Saugatuck Fire Response. Early the next morning, the body of a 51-year-old female was found north of the Saugatuck Pier in Lake Michigan. The drowning is still under investigation by the Allegan County Sheriff's Office.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling back to her residence when she observed a black sports car pass her at a high rate of speed, swerving in and out of traffic. CO Cullen stopped the vehicle and issued a citation based off their high rate of speed and reckless operation.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling the national forest in northern Muskegon County when she observed a side-by-side operating on a forest road posted closed to ORV traffic. The side-by-side was observed doing fish tails and operating in a careless manner. CO Cullen issued a citation for careless operation and issued a warning for operating on a forest road.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling Hilton Park Road in the Muskegon State Game Area (SGA) when she observed multiple vehicles park and begin shooting in an area that was posted closed. CO Cullen waited for back up units to arrive due to a recognized, possible dangerous vehicle and attempted to contact all the subjects. All persons were cooperative, and advised they were unaware of the closure. Further investigation revealed that one subject had an active warrant. CO Cullen was asked to advise and release on the warrant per direction of Muskegon County Jail. Two citations were issued for shooting when posted against based off the violations that were observed.
COs Robert Slick and Anna Cullen performed a marine patrol on Lake Michigan targeting anglers using too many lines while trolling. Multiple boats were contacted checking fishing licenses and safety gear. One individual was issued a ticket for having too many lines.
CO Robert Slick followed up on a complaint of an individual feeding deer. CO Slick had already gone out to this residence once and told them that they were not allowed to feed the deer because of chronic wasting disease. They said they understood why and would stop. When CO Slick arrived at the residence, he asked them why they were still feeding. The suspect didn't have an answer. A ticket was issued for feeding in a restricted county.
While patrolling an inland lake in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg checked three anglers fishing from a vessel. Two of the anglers did not have fishing licenses and the vessel was missing required safety equipment. A citation was issued for the violation.
While patrolling in Ottawa County, CO Justin Ulberg observed a vehicle pass him at a high rate of speed. CO Ulberg was able to use his radar unit and determined the vehicle was travelling at 78 mph in a 55-mph zone. A traffic stop was conducted and while speaking with the driver, CO Ulberg smelled marijuana in the vehicle. Upon questioning, the underaged subject produced a small amount of marijuana. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol with CO Justin Ulberg on Lake Michigan in Ottawa and Muskegon Counties where they witnessed three different boats fishing with more lines than they were legally allowed to fish with. The COs contacted the violators, and all of them knew they were breaking the law. Citations were issued to all the violators.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol at Grand Haven State Park in Ottawa County where he witnessed several individuals consuming alcohol on the state beach. The individuals were contacted and made aware it was illegal to possess alcohol on the state beach. Citations were issued to the individuals.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol at Grand Haven State Park in Ottawa County when he responded to a call of a girl passing out. CO Varriale contacted the individual who was awake and alert. CO Varriale offered medical assistance and after a few questions it was determined that dehydration was the likely cause. CO Varriale offered to contact EMS, but the individual declined further help. The individual admitted to never drinking water, only Pepsi. She stated she did not have any fluids or food that day. CO Varriale gave her water and popsicles and monitored her for approximately one-half hour. Her friends eventually picked her up to get her home.
CO Nick Wellman assisted the Branch County Emergency Management with storm assessment and welfare checks after Branch County declared a state of emergency. CO Wellman utilized watercraft that wasn't available from local resources to assess and document storm damage and check on residents living on or along waterways.
CO Nick Wellman is actively working with the Union City Fire Department on placing signs along the Coldwater and St. Joseph Rivers for kayakers to more easily identify where they are on the rivers, in case there is a need for emergency services. CO Wellman has been marking areas for signs, speaking with landowners seeking cooperation in allowing for these signs to be placed on their property, as well as gaining access to these properties for emergency personnel should an emergency arise.
CO Jason McCullough assisted the Battle Creek Police Department and the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department in the recovery of a body from the Battle Creek River.
CO Nick Wellman attended the funeral services for fallen Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Ryan Proxmire. Over 1,000 patrol vehicles were involved in the precession, and more than twice that attended the funeral.
PCO Matthew Tomas and Sgt. Jason Smith patrolled Dansville SGA and located two male subjects attempting to take trees from the game area. One of the males had a misdemeanor warrant out of Lansing Police Department. He was arrested and subsequently advised and released.
CO Keven Luther presented at virtual DNR Summer Youth awareness programs and careers for at-risk youth within the Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw areas.
While on marine patrol at the Sterling State Park boat launch, COs David Schaumburger and Brandon Vacek contacted the last vessel in the parking lot late at night. While the vessel was pulling up to the dock, the COs viewed the boat with improper navigation lights, the vessel did not have a stern light. The anglers stated they were out walleye fishing and did not have any luck, however, they stated they had a great time. A check of fishing licenses was conducted, however one of the anglers left his in the truck and CO Schaumburger followed him and started talking to him about fishing. During this contact, CO Schaumburger became suspicious that the owner of the vessel was operating an illegal charter boat. CO Schaumburger spoke to the three anglers separate from the owner of the boat, to which they stated they paid $350 to the owner to take them out on a charter, and they used Facebook messenger to set up the charter. COs Schaumburger and Vacek confronted the vessel owner who, after denying any illegal activity, confessed that he did in fact take $350 from the anglers and they made contact via Facebook messenger. The owner stated that he was attempting to get his charter business going and knew that he was not allowed to charter before being inspected. A citation was issued for carrying passengers for hire without inspection and improper navigation lights.
CO Dan Walzak observed a subject on a PWC take off from a dock at a launch ramp on Belleville Lake at high speed. After making a few passes, the operator came back toward the ramp and executed several high-speed turns 40 to 50 feet away from the end of the docks where other boaters were attempting to launch their vessels. The operator then came back to the dock and let his son take the PWC for a ride. Calling the operator over, CO Walzak told the subject what he had observed and advised him that his operation was unlawful. When CO Walzak told the subject that his wake interfered with the launching of other vessels, the subject responded, "Yeah, I should know that". The subject was issued a citation for throwing a wake within 100 feet of the docks.
CO Tom Peterson was investigating a feeding complaint in Milford Township and encountered an individual operating an ATV on the roadway at a high rate of speed without a helmet. CO Peterson conducted a traffic stop. The CO explained the laws surrounding ORV operation in Oakland County. The individual was cited for operating an ATV without a helmet. The individual was warned of operating on the roadway, operating above 25 mph, and operating left of center.
CO Tom Peterson participated in a multi-agency patrol focusing on marine and public safety during the Raft Off event in Muscamoot Bay on Lake St. Clair. CO Peterson was working with CO Bobby Watson and Sgt. Chris Maher on one of the safe boats. During the patrol, the COs encountered two jet skis that were operating without PFDs for all passengers onboard. The subjects were stopped and cited for the violations. The COs issued multiple verbal warnings for navigation and mooring lights. The COs also assisted multiple event goers locate their parties after being separated.
CO Tom Peterson assisted the MSP with attempting to locate a felony warrant suspect who fled on foot from an attempted warrant pick up after jumping from a two-story window.
CO Tom Peterson assisted the MSP with a roll over crash on I 75 and Davisburg Road where the operator could not be located. The CO conducted a search of the heavily wooded median with the assistance of fire and EMS to ensure the operator was not ejected during the crash. CO Peterson was able to locate a cell phone amongst the wreckage and was able to call the last individual called. The individual was the spouse of the registered owner. It was confirmed that the individual received a ride from the wreckage by a passerby to his residence. It was discovered that the operator did not have a license. The investigation was turned over to the MSP.
CO Tom Peterson worked a group ORV patrol in Oakland County. The CO encountered an individual riding his ORV on the roadway who was warned the previous day for operating on the same roadway. He was issued a citation for operating on the roadway.
CO Chris Knights worked Raft Off with multiple other officers in Macomb County on Lake St. Clair. Hundreds of contacts were made and turned out to be a great day. CO Knights was able to assist multiple boaters find friends and their boats. He also assisted with a possible drowning. Upon arrival, the subject was face down in the water. CO Knights, a citizen, and other agencies flipped him over and turned him to the side, the airway was cleared. The subject was barely breathing but still conscious. CO Knights then loaded him onto the Macomb County Sheriff's boat and took him to shore where he was transported to the hospital. CO Knights also took one of the females with him since she was the only person who could identify him.
CO Luke Robare stopped a dirt bike for doing a wheelie down the middle of a road in Genesee County. CO Robare issued the operator a citation and educated them on the county ORV rules and regulations.
CO Bobby Watson contacted the driver of an ORV who was operating without a helmet, was lacking the proper ORV registration sticker, was operating above the 25-mph speed limit for county roads and was in possession of an open container of alcohol. CO Watson recognized the subject from a previous stop that took place only a week prior, at which time CO Watson issued warnings for all the same violations. CO Watson issued the man two citations for operating an ORV without a helmet and failing to register an ORV.
During an ORV patrol, CO Kris Kiel stopped a few ORVs being operated illegally on the roads of Macomb County. Citations were written for operating unlicensed ORVs and warnings were given for operating on the roadway. One subject stated that he had only owned the ORV for two hours and already got a ticket.
CO Brad Silorey and PCO Martin Lawrence worked the Raft Off Event with multiple other COs from District 9. The event was extremely busy and attracted boaters from all over. Many contacts were made, and several marine citations were issued for wake violations.
CO Brad Silorey was on patrol when he observed an ambulance pulling into a local DNR access site. CO Silorey observed the booth attendant flagging down the medics, CO Silorey arrived at the location of the docks to find a highly intoxicated elderly female in the passenger seat of a vessel. The medics asked CO Silorey if he had a PBT so that they could get a rough idea on how much she has had to drink or even if it was alcohol related. CO Silorey retrieved the PBT from his truck and administered the test for medical evaluation. The subject blew a 0.235 BAC, which is almost three times the legal limit to drive. CO Silorey assisted the medics with carrying the subject on a gurney off the docks, because she could not stand on her own. Since the subject was not driving and was going in and out of consciousness she was transported to the hospital for evaluation.
While on marine patrol on Lake St. Clair, CO Joseph Deppen observed three persons being towed by a boat. Upon closer inspection there was only one driver of the boat and no observer. CO Deppen conducted a stop on the vessel and explained the need for a spotter. CO Deppen issued the driver a citation for towing a skier/tuber without an observer.
CO Michael Drexler and PCO Thomas Jaakkola conducted marine safety patrols on Portage Lake and Base Line Lake. Upon arriving to the Portage Lake launch, the COs contacted the DNR employee working the gate who stated that he had a subject park in the handicap parking and would like enforcement action. CO Drexler and PCO Jaakkola checked the vehicle and there was no handicap sticker. The COs also ran the Michigan plate through the law enforcement information network to verify handicap status. A citation was issued for the violation.
COs Brandon Vacek, Nick Ingersoll, and Brandon Hartleben conducted a group marine patrol on Lake Erie. The COs conducted a check on a single angler in a boat fishing in Plum Creek. When asked to produce the safety equipment required onboard the vessel, the angler attempted to locate, but did not have any wearable PFDs or the required Type IV PFD on the vessel. The angler was issued a citation for failure to provide a PFD onboard a vessel.
CO Brandon Hartleben was on marine patrol on Whitmore Lake when he contacted a motorized kayak that was not displaying a registration. Further inquiry with the operator confirmed that the vessel was not registered and that there was no PFD aboard the vessel. The subject was educated on motorized vessel registration requirements and was issued a citation for not having a PFD on board.
COs Brandon Vacek, Nick Ingersoll, Brandon Hartleben, and Sgt. Shane Webster conducted a group marine patrol on Lake Erie. The COs contacted two anglers trolling for walleye near the River Raisin. One angler stated that there were two walleyes in the boat so far and voluntarily held them up for the COs to have a better look. One of the fish appeared very small and after further investigation was determined to be under the legal-size limit. The angler was issued a citation for possession of an under-sized walleye.
COs Brandon Vacek and Danielle Zubek contacted a group of shore anglers at the DTE Hot Ponds in Monroe County. One of the anglers had failed to purchase a 2021 fishing license and the second subject was in possession of 35 panfish. Both subjects were issued citations, one for fishing without a license and the other for possession of 10 panfish over the legal limit.
CO Brandon Vacek contacted a shore angler at a local park along the River Raisin in Monroe County. After a check of his fishing license, the angler proudly held up a stringer sporting a bluegill, catfish, and a very small largemouth bass. Further investigation determined the bass to be only eight and a half inches long, well under the legal-size limit. The angler was issued a citation for possession of an undersized largemouth bass and given an education of the legal-size requirements for specific species.
While working in Monroe County, CO Eric Smither and Sgt. Shane Webster noticed ORV tracks at the intersection on a dirt road. As they entered the intersection, they noticed an ORV traveling away from them up the road with no helmet on. CO Smither and Sgt. Webster contacted the driver, and a citation was issued for no helmet on ORV.
While on a recent Belle Isle patrol, CO Kyle Bucholtz observed a vehicle operating against traffic toward his patrol truck. The vehicle had two flat tires on the passenger side and was operating on its rims. CO Bucholtz stopped the vehicle and, with assistance from CO Chris Reynolds, arrested the subject for operating while intoxicated. The subject was lodged at the Detroit Detention Center.
While working on Belle Isle, CO Seth Rhodea stopped two motorcycles that were going more than the posted speed limit. Upon contacting the operators, CO Rhodea was given a false name and date of birth by one of the drivers. CO Rhodea questioned the driver about giving the fake name and she advised she did it because she had a warrant. The CO was told to advise and release on the warrant, but the driver did leave with an additional ticket to take care of.
While driving home after working a shift on Belle Isle CO Ethan Gainforth assisted with a house fire in Southern Tuscola County. Fire personnel believed no one to be home at the time the fire started and when CO Gainforth arrived on scene the house was already fully engulfed. CO Gainforth made sure people were evacuated from the houses nearby and waited for fire personnel to arrive on scene.
Working on Belle Isle, CO Dan Walzak received a report of a cyclist who had been struck by a motor vehicle. Arriving on scene, it was found that the cyclist had not been struck by a vehicle. The cyclist stated that she had hit a depression in the road which caused her to lose control of her bicycle and fall. Detroit EMS arrived on scene to administer first aid to the cyclist, and she was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital for further treatment.
CO Chris Knights worked a Belle Isle shift. During his shift, multiple Dodge Chargers arrived on the island and immediately started driving carelessly. CO Knights witnessed one car try and drift around the fountain circle and he was immediately pulled over. The driver had a suspended license as well as a warrant out for his arrest. CO Knights communicated with dispatch who advised they would not take him on his warrant. CO Knights advised him of the laws and issued a citation for careless driving.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll worked a busy Sunday afternoon on Belle Isle. CO Ingersoll stopped several vehicles for various violations and issued one citation for failure to provide proof of insurance and a vehicle was impounded for having no insurance.
Cpl. Mike Hammill was contacted by a private landowner who explained that his property at his camp was being destroyed by nuisance beavers. Cpl. Hammill followed up with the landowner the next day only to discover the property in question isn't the complainant's but rather an elderly gentleman and he just has permission to hunt the property. Cpl. Hammill advised the hunter to have the landowner contact him if he would like a nuisance permit.
Cpl. Mike Hammill responded to the scene of a PI accident where a woman detoxing from numerous drugs jumped out of the passenger side of a motor vehicle at approximately 60 mph. The individual was eventually air-lifted to a major hospital.
Cpl. Mike Hammill picked up the ROV from Stephenson and is currently doing on-the-water training.
Cpl. Kevin Postma testified at a felony kidnapping case that occurred in March of 2019. Both suspects were found guilty of 17 felony counts each.
While patrolling in Lake Michigan near Beaver Island, Cpl. Kevin Postma and Acting 2nd Lt. Nick Torsky responded to a possible unmanned vessel underway north of the Leelanau Peninsula. It was eventually determined that the owners of the vessel were below-deck and came out once the USCG chopper hovered overhead.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen took part in a Great Lakes Water Consortium Committee meeting.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen was patrolling home from a late night on the water when he heard a call from Oceana County Central Dispatch of two people breaking into a house. Since Cpl. VanGelderen was the closest to the call, he arrived and found a subject standing on his porch with two fillet knives. The caller said that the subjects ran off when Cpl. VanGelderen showed up. Cpl. VanGelderen and two deputies checked the area and determined that nobody was, or had been there, and it was obvious that the caller had imagined it. The officers left, and the caller called back to say that there were now three people hiding in his home. It was determined through a search that nobody was in the home. Ottawa County Sheriff Department then agreed to have the subject held on a warrant that they had for him for a drug conviction.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen provided marine security for a firework show that the Village of Pentwater had for their annual "Homecoming" festival.
Acting 2nd Lt. Nick Torsky attended the first in-person Lake Huron Citizen Fisheries Advisory Committee meeting since pre-COVID. Most of the discussion revolved around perch and walleye population trends and potential regulation changes in the Saginaw Bay area.
Acting Cpl. Justin Vanderlinde investigated the area of a reported ghost net in West Grand Traverse Bay. A potential location has been identified, and a plan is being developed to grapple and lift the net.