7/12/2020 - 7/25/2020
Conservation Officer (CO) Jenni Hanson was requested to assist other agencies with a drowning at Rainbow Falls in Gogebic County. CO Hanson utilized her patrol kayak to patrol up the Black River in search of the missing 22-year-old girl. The search extended into the next day with an extensive recovery team consisting of the Michigan State Police (MSP) Marine Services Team, Gogebic County Sheriff’s Office, Gogebic County Search and Rescue Team, and US Forest Service Law Enforcement. The female victim was recovered three days into the search.
CO Doug Hermanson received sentencing information on a subject who was found to have shot an over-limit of bucks during the 2019 firearm deer season. The subject was ordered to pay a reimbursement of $2,000 and his hunting privileges were revoked for the remainder of 2020 and the following three seasons.
CO Anna Viau assisted MSP Trooper Tardiff and Iron County Sheriff Deputies Tulpo and Schiavo with the search for a 16-year-old male with mental disabilities who had wandered away from home. After a brief search, the boy returned safely home on his own with no injuries.
COs Jeffrey Dell and Shannon Kritz patrolled the waters of Green Bay for marine and fishing activity. One boat had multiple anglers on board. All occupants produced a valid Michigan fishing license except one. The one who did not produce a license was busy fighting a fish on the line. When asked for his fishing license, he produced a Wisconsin fishing license even though he was well within Michigan waters. He then produced a 2019 Michigan fishing license. Lastly, he attempted to purchase a license on his phone in front of the COs. The man was issued a citation for fishing without a license.
CO Jeffrey Dell observed an ORV travelling at a high rate of speed down a county road without a valid ORV decal and with a passenger not wearing a helmet or seatbelt. CO Dell initiated a traffic stop on the ORV. The driver and passenger both looked at the patrol truck when the lights and siren were activated but continued down the road at a high rate of speed. A pursuit ensued and the ORV was able to elude the CO on a rough two-track. CO Dell tracked the ORV to a camp where he observed the passenger of the fleeing ORV walking outside. CO Dell activated his lights and siren and the passenger looked up and ran into the camp. CO Shannon Kritz and deputies from the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department arrived, and a perimeter was established. A search warrant was obtained, and the driver and passenger were found hiding in the basement. The ORV used was also found on the premises. The pair now face felony fleeing and eluding and resisting and obstructing charges in addition to a litany of ORV charges.
COs Josh Boudreaux and Cody Smith responded to a remote lake in Baraga County after receiving report of a possible drowning. CO Smith was the first to arrive on scene due to his knowledge of a shortcut not accessible by most vehicles. CO Smith located the individual in the water who appeared to have been there for several days. CO Boudreaux arrived on scene and he and CO Smith used their canoe to retrieve the body and bring it to waiting EMS personnel on shore. Assisting on scene were MSP, Michigamme/Spurr Township First Responders, and Bay Ambulance. MSP is investigating the cause of the victim’s death.
COs Josh Boudreaux and Shannon Kritz were patrolling the Way Damn Flotilla event in Iron County for reckless boating and impaired operation in continued response to a fatal boating accident which occurred the year prior. The COs observed a small boat coming towards them which appeared to be overloaded with far more people than seats. Upon further inspection the COs observed an improper registration and contacted the boaters. As the COs conducted a safety inspection of the vessel, they noted signs of impairment as they conversed with the operator and ultimately ran him through field sobrieties. The operator was arrested for operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol and was transported to the Iron County Jail. COs Jeremy Sergey and Anna Viau assisted the remaining three individuals in the boat with getting their boat back to shore, as none of them were familiar with how to operate a boat or back up a trailer.
CO Josh Boudreaux received a complaint of individuals keeping short splake on a trout lake in western Marquette County. Additionally, there were multiple reports of the same individuals shining lights into cabins from the water after dark which made many residents uneasy. CO Boudreaux responded to the area and tucked into the wood line where he could observe the suspect individuals on the boat. As the night went on, CO Boudreaux watched the pair troll along the shoreline with spotlights spearing or “gigging” what were later determined to be bullfrogs and then throwing them in a cooler in the bow of the boat. CO Boudreaux contacted the pair after they got off the water and discovered they were in possession of an over-limit and undersized amount of splake and three bullfrogs. They were ultimately issued citations for possessing an over-limit of splake, illegal take of amphibians, and warnings were given for undersized fish and other minor violations.
COs Michael Evink and Robert Freeborn responded to Dodge Lake in Schoolcraft County. The call was about a truck, trailer, and boat that rolled into the lake and were completely submerged. Once on scene it was clear that all people were safe, and the vehicle was deep enough that the newly formed Schoolcraft County dive team was called to safely hook the truck to the tow truck to be removed.
CO Mike Evink was working on paperwork at the Manistique Marina when he noticed a golf cart signaling for assistance. CO Evink went to check on the situation and observed a male on the ground who had been stung multiple times by bees. CO Evink requested emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and assisted until the individual was turned over to EMS.
CO Andrea Dani assisted in the search for a potentially injured/suicidal male along the Pictured Rocks shoreline. The Alger County Sheriff’s Department received a call indicating a man was sawing off his leg on the Pictured Rocks beach. The call was then dropped due to poor cell coverage. Several beaches are located along the Pictured Rocks shoreline between Munising and Grand Marais and thousands of tourists visit the beaches every day. Alger County Sheriff’s deputies, National Park Law Enforcement, and CO Dani coordinated their search efforts by checking different beaches. Dispatch then received information providing a vehicle description. The subject was located by a National Park officer and determined to be unharmed.
CO Robert Freeborn assisted the MSP in a motorcycle personal injury accident where a motorcyclist struck a wolf. The motorcyclist lost control and left the roadway and skidded into the ditch. The motorcyclist sustained injuries and was transported by EMS to the local hospital. The wolf was killed in the accident and was turned over to Wildlife Division.
CO Robert Freeborn assisted the MSP in locating missing children who left on a walk several hours earlier on a Lake Michigan beach and had not returned. CO Freeborn and MSP began looking for the kids and shortly after they returned home.
COs Robert Freeborn and Michel Evink assisted the MSP in a dirt bike personal injury accident. The rider had struck a tree in the trail, possibly lost consciousness, and broke a few ribs. The rider was able to make it out to the trailhead where he was checked out by EMS. The rider refused treatment at a hospital and went back to riding for the day.
CO Andrea Erratt received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint about boats stored illegally on state land at the Petobego State Game Area (SGA). CO Erratt walked into Petobego Pond and attached a DNR Abandoned Vehicle Notice to the three boats chained up on shore and ran the MC numbers for one boat with a current registration. Two days later, CO Erratt talked to the boat owner at his residence. The boat owner told CO Erratt he knew why she was there because CO Richard Stowe of Grand Traverse County had called him this winter to tell him it was illegal to store boats on state land. The boat owner admitted he had left his boat by Petobego Pond for decades so he could go fishing. CO Erratt ticketed the boat owner for storing property on state land longer than 24 hours.
CO Andrea Erratt on marine patrol on Clam Lake observed a cabin cruiser boat being operated with several people on the bow with their legs hanging over the side. After the boat entered Clam Lake leaving the slow-no wake zone, its speed increased, and it went up on plane. CO Erratt stopped the boat with five people on the bow including a two-year-old boy. After the operator slowed down, he asked CO Erratt if they were not supposed to be riding up there. CO Erratt explained why bow riding was illegal due to the safety hazard and issued the operator a ticket for transporting passengers on the bow while traveling at greater than slow-no wake speed.
CO Adam LeClerc was on patrol in Emmet County when he heard a call for help west of Pellston through central dispatch. An off-road vehicle (ORV) golf cart had gotten stuck in the mud on a two-track on state land, leaving stranded a woman with disabilities and her daughter. CO LeClerc met the complainant at the road, who was unable to drive his truck down the trail to extract the individuals. CO LeClerc received directions to the stranded individuals and drove his patrol truck through the two-track. The individuals were relieved to see the CO and, besides being a little muddy and suffering a couple of bug bites, no medical attention was required. CO LeClerc brought them out to the main road to meet the rest of their party. The CO was thanked repeatedly for the assistance. The golf cart was removed the following day by the individuals.
CO Kyle Cherry received a complaint in Otsego County of a camper that appeared to have been abandoned on state land. CO Cherry investigated the issue and found the camper, along with a large amount of litter. The required information was not posted at the campsite, but CO Cherry was able to track down the owner and gave him 24 hours to remove the camper and litter. After following up and finding the camper had not been removed in the allotted time, CO Cherry contacted the owner a second time. The owner stated he did not remove the camper because he had gotten arrested for a separate incident the day after they talked and just bonded out of jail moments before CO Cherry arrived. CO Cherry issued a ticket to the owner and gave him another 24 hours to get the camper before it would be towed.
CO Tim Rosochacki assisted the DNR Parks and Recreation Division (PRD) after numerous severe storms passed through Cheboygan County in less than 24 hours by checking on remote access sites and state forest campgrounds so that park staff could focus on damage within the parks. Only minor tree damage was observed, and several fallen limbs had to be removed to maintain access.
CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a 911 call along the Sturgeon River. A female subject had fallen from a raft and had gotten pinned underwater for some time. When her companions removed her from the water, they had to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The location of the incident was very remote and difficult to access. CO Rosochacki led a group through a swampy area on one side of the river, while another group of rescuers approached on a raft upstream. The raft group was able to make it to the victim and get her back across the river to a waiting ambulance.
CO Eric Bottorff was leaving the Gaylord DNR Operations Center when he saw a passenger inside a vehicle parked at the entrance throw litter out of the window. The passenger decided that he would rather pick up all of the visible garbage along that stretch of roadway than receive a ticket. The subject was warned for littering after he was done.
COs Paul Fox and Jon Sklba were conducting a marine patrol on the Thunder Bay when they encountered a disabled vessel. There was no tow service available and the winds were pushing the vessel towards a rocky shoreline. The COs were able to assist in getting the vessel back to the harbor.
CO Paul Fox was patrolling near Black Lake and Onaway State Park after a severe windstorm struck the area. CO Fox removed several large trees from primary county roadways and checked the state park. Multiple campers were damaged by falling trees. Fortunately, only minor injuries were sustained.
COs Troy Ludwig, Patrick McManus, and Amanda McCurdy participated in a saturation patrol of the Platte River along with the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park rangers and Benzie County Sheriff’s Department. This patrol included 13 officers from the various departments and focused efforts on ensuring the safety and well-being of kayakers, canoers, and tubers on the river. This area attracts thousands of visitors each weekend, and enforcement efforts were designed to protect the safety of recreators, as well as safeguard the environment from being impacted by such a high volume of people. Numerous citations were issued for both state and federal regulations and the inter-agency effort was a valuable opportunity to build a relationship with other law enforcement agencies.
CO Amanda McCurdy was on patrol in Benzie County when a call came in of a five-year-old girl who was being swept into Lake Michigan on an inflatable raft. The girl was not wearing a PFD and due to high winds and treacherous water conditions, bystanders were unable to swim out to retrieve her. CO McCurdy responded, along with the USGC, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park rangers, and the Benzie County Sheriff’s Department. CO McCurdy and a sheriff’s deputy launched a patrol boat at the mouth of the Platte River into Lake Michigan and, while in route, officers learned that the raft had flipped over. Luckily, a nearby raft witnessed the incident and was able to paddle out to the victim and pull her from the water. Once the girl was safely back on shore, CO McCurdy provided transport for the victim and her family to a nearby beach where the girl received medical treatment.
While assisting the National Park Service (NPS) in Benzie County for their Platte River “Saturation Patrol,” COs Patrick McManus and Troy Ludwig were contacted by the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department Marine Division to assist in the search and rescue of two subjects who were last seen kayaking near the Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan. The US Coast Guard (USCG) was also in route to assist local officers with the search. Upon contacting the Marine Division, the COs diverted their on-water response to on ground in the area where the kayakers were last spotted. With the help of NPS rangers and road deputies from the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department, all units were able to interview over 20 witnesses and pinpoint the potential location of the lost kayakers onshore. After searching the suspected area, kayakers matching the description were spotted by an NPS ranger, and confirmation that they were safe was made.
COs Ryan Andrews, Brian Brosky, Josiah Killingbeck, and Sergeant (Sgt.) Grant Emery, along with several officers from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant in Lake County after a month-long investigation into an illegally taken sow black bear. After a lengthy interview, the bear was dug up from a shallow burial site on the property. Along with the bear, several other items were seized, including firearms and phones. Charges are currently being requested through the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Ryan Andrews, Brian Brosky, and Kyle Publiski performed a marine search and recovery operation for a missing boater in Mason County. Due to murky water conditions, the search teams were limited to electronic side scan sonar systems that can detect shapes and objects in the water. After 24 hours of searching, the victim of the drowning was located by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Josiah Killingbeck was traveling on M-37 at dusk when he observed two dirt bikes go past him at a high rate of speed with no lights. CO Killingbeck could hardly see the subjects on the roadway as it was quite dark. CO Killingbeck was able to stop the subjects and, as CO Killingbeck exited his vehicle, one of the subjects called out, “Sir, we’re not from around here we don’t know any rules.” CO Killingbeck asked the subject to clarify what he meant and replied that he was from out of state and had no idea of ORV rules in Michigan. CO Killingbeck advised the subjects that state highways are closed to ORVs and lights were required for safety reasons. CO Killingbeck issued citations to both subjects for highway operation. One subject told CO Killingbeck that they were aware that it was illegal to operate on M-37 but were hoping that by saying they did not know any rules that CO Killingbeck would not issue any citations.
CO Josiah Killingbeck received a complaint from a PRD supervisor that a subject camping had called saying he was being threatened by subjects at the site next to his. CO Killingbeck responded along with Lake County deputies. The officers were flagged down by a group of subjects saying that the subject who had initially called was harassing the whole campground. The reporting subject had gone around to various campsites throughout the campground cursing, harassing, and threatening other campers. CO Killingbeck was shown a video of the subject urinating in full view of the whole campground. CO Killingbeck contacted the suspect who was not very cooperative. The subject did submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) which resulted in a reading of 0.25. CO Killingbeck discovered that the subject had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. The subject was arrested for disorderly conduct and lodged in the Lake County Jail.
Sgt. Mike Bomay was on patrol when he observed a minibike being operated by an adult traveling on the wrong side of the roadway on a busy paved road. An oncoming van drove into Sgt. Bomay’s path to avoid hitting the minibike in a no passing zone. The operator was not wearing a helmet and there was no ORV license visible. Sgt. Bomay conducted a stop and discovered the subject’s driver’s license was suspended and that the operator had multiple warrants for his arrest. The subject was lodged, and his minibike was impounded.
CO Ben Shively responded with Oceana County deputies to a complaint of a subject attempting to steal a utility task vehicle (UTV) from a residence. Upon arrival at the complainant’s residence, they were informed the subject had taken the UTV, but was contacted by the owner on the road and was now on foot behind a farm in the asparagus fields. Employees of the farm were able to locate the subject in the field until law enforcement arrived on scene. Upon contact with the suspect, he was found to be under the influence of methamphetamine and had been drinking. The subject was taken into custody and lodged at the Oceana County Jail.
CO Angela Greenway received a message from a community member that her children had found an owl in their yard that seemed to be injured and could not fly. CO Greenway responded and retrieved the owl taking it to a licensed rehabilitation facility. This facility gave out calendars and educational sheets to CO Greenway to give to the kids who found the owl. They also offered to allow the kids and family to be present when they would be able to release the owl back into the wild. The mother of the children is active in the parent/teacher association and CO Greenway was able to assist in setting up an educational and hands-on session at the schools.
CO Jeff Ginn responded to an unresponsive female along the Muskegon River. While in route, it was reported the 12-year-old female was in cardiac arrest due to a drowning incident. Upon arrival, CO Ginn took over CPR from a bystander while an automated external defibrillator was set up by a sheriff’s deputy. CPR was performed with the aid of Newaygo Sheriff deputies, Newaygo Fire Department first responders, and Life EMS. The young female began to breath and have a pulse. Once she was stabilized, she was transported to Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was later released to return home and is expected to make a full recovery.
COs Charlie Jones and Jeremy Cantrell were on patrol in Missaukee County when they noticed an ORV operator not wearing a helmet. The COs conducted a stop on the ORV. Upon contact, the COs observed suspicious actions and behaviors from the operator. A glass pipe was located, which is commonly used with methamphetamine. The COs attempted to place the male subject in custody when he tried to run and began resisting arrest. After a brief scuffle, the man was taken into custody and transported to the Missaukee County Jail. The next morning, the COs conducted a follow-up vehicle identification number inspection on the ATV. Upon further investigation, they located a small baggy approximately 1.2 grams of methamphetamine and a second small container containing methamphetamine with another glass pipe. A report has been submitted to the Missaukee County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Josh Russell dedicated multiple hours patrolling Lake Lancer due to complaints of high-speed boating after 7:30 p.m., a local watercraft control. Numerous citations were issued for failing to provide personal floating devices (PFDs), high-speed boating after 7:30 p.m., fishing without a license, and possession of undersized bass.
CO Jay Person and Sgt. Bob Hobkirk checked on a father and young daughter on the Saginaw River. The father appeared to be paddling their disabled fishing boat. Contact was made and it was discovered the outboard motor had sheared a prop pin and was disabled. It was also discovered that the pair had launched at the furthest most launch on the river approximately one and a half miles downriver. The father and his four-year-old daughter were returned to the launch site. The father was extremely thankful to the COs saying it would have taken him most of the day and into the night to paddle the boat that far.
CO Quincy Gowenlock was on his way to the district office when he came across what appeared to be a motor vehicle collision. Upon stopping and contacting the elderly driver, it was determined that the trailer, heavily laden with logs, had popped off the hitch. With the assistance of two other good Samaritans, CO Gowenlock was able to get the elderly man’s trailer back on and properly secured.
During a late evening patrol in central Isabella County, CO Mike Haas witnessed a boat with two anglers fishing on a small public lake. Using binoculars and a night vision scope, CO Haas watched the group land multiple fish. Shortly after 3:00 a.m., the boat returned to the launch and the anglers were surprised to see CO Haas waiting for them. One subject had a bucket containing multiple fish including a walleye that was well under the legal possession size. There was also a large softshell turtle in the boat that one angler had caught and intended to eat. CO Haas asked the angler if he knew when turtle season started, and the angler stated he had checked Google and thought turtle season was currently underway. The angler was advised to check the DNR published guides in the future since turtle season was not yet open. During their conversation, CO Haas discovered that the angler’s fishing partner had an active Personal Protection Order (PPO) against the man and the two were not supposed to be in contact with each other. It was also discovered that the angler had multiple, prior fishing and deer hunting convictions over the past recent years and was currently on probation. The angler received a citation for the fishing violations and his probation officer was notified of his probation and PPO violations.
CO Mike Haas and Adam Schiller were patrolling through the Edmore SGA in northern Montcalm County when they encountered a slow-moving vehicle that was not displaying a license plate. A traffic stop was conducted, and the COs contacted the driver. The man initially stated he had an appointment with the Secretary of the State (SOS) to get his vehicle registered, but eventually admitted that he was planning to make an appointment to get the vehicle registered. It was also discovered that the vehicle did not have insurance and the gentleman had been denied and revoked to drive since 1988. The man received a citation to address the various violations and was instructed to park his vehicle in a nearby state game area parking lot until it could be towed home.
CO Dan Robinson was patrolling Lake Isabella in Isabella County when he witnessed a boat towing three kids on an inflatable tube of sorts without an observer. CO Robinson had just launched his vessel and was going to stop the boat to address the violation. From a distance CO Robinson could see the boat stopped and one of the kids jumped in the back of the boat and was observing. Later CO Robinson witnessed the same boat, again towing without an observer and a stop was made. In addition to the towing violation, the boat did not have any additional PFDs on board besides the ones the kids were wearing. A citation was issued for failing to provide a PFD for everyone on board and warnings given for towing without an observer, a misdemeanor offense.
While following up on a state land litter complaint, CO Josh Jackson found a stray dog that appeared to be left behind on the state-owned lands near Gowen. CO Jackson tried to approach the scared dog but was unable to gain its trust. CO Jackson visited a nearby kennel and asked the kennel owner if she knew the dog or where he lived. CO Jackson and the kennel owner brought food and water to the dog’s location and immediately notified the local Animal Control officer. Later that evening, CO Jackson received a message from the kennel owner who stated she was able to talk the dog into her vehicle and gave him a bug-free spot in her kennel. CO Jackson, the kennel owner, and Animal Control are still seeking the owners or people responsible.
While on marine patrol CO Adam Schiller made a stop on a personal watercraft (PWC) that was towing two individuals on a tube. During the stop the CO was told the driver of the PWC was 12 years old. The individuals on the tube were 15 and 8 years old. The CO followed the PWC to their nearby cottage. The owner of the PWC was issued a citation for allowing an underaged individual to operate a PWC.
CO Jeremy Beavers spotted an angler wading in the Grand River and noticed what appeared to be a fish stringer attached to the angler’s waders. The CO contacted the angler and asked if he had any luck and he stated, “Yes.” He then asked the angler if he had any fish on the stringer and the angler stated. “One or two.” CO Beavers asked if it was one or two, and the angler stated he had a catfish. Further investigation revealed that the angler had several fish. The CO instructed the angler to come to shore where he could get a better look at the fish and found there were six smallmouth bass and one catfish. It was obvious that all the smallmouth bass were less than 14 inches. The longest was 12 inches and the smallest was 9.5 inches. While discussing the issues on size and possession limits, the angler admitted that he was warned once about size limits and knew they were supposed to be 14 inches. The angler was cited for the violation.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in the Rogue River SGA in Kent County where he witnessed an individual target shooting after 7:00 p.m. During a short investigation, CO Varriale discovered the suspect was on probation for a previous drug crime. CO Varriale addressed the shooting range violation and told the suspect he was not to be in possession of any firearms. CO Varriale wrote a report and submitted it to the suspect’s probation officer for a judge to review.
CO Jackie Miskovich and a Muskegon County Marine deputy were patrolling Big Blue Lake when they observed two PWCs drive within 100 feet of a dock. CO Miskovich was able to pull one of the PWCs over and contacted the driver. It was found that the driver was only 14 and did not have a marine safety certificate. CO Miskovich and the deputy followed the individual back to the dock she came from, the other PWC arrived at the dock soon after, where they contacted the owner of the PWCs. He stated he knew the rules of operation for PWCs and that he knew they should not be on them because they were underage and did not have their marine safety or adult supervision. A citation was issued.
CO Jackie Miskovich was patrolling Muskegon when she came upon a three-car accident that was blocking a major roadway at a light that was not functioning properly. CO Miskovich checked to make sure everyone was ok, and no one was badly injured. One individual ended up having to be checked by medics as they were complaining of neck, shoulder, and leg pain. CO Miskovich assisted with traffic as Muskegon City Police Department took over the scene.
While checking lakes in Kent County, CO Justin Ulberg encountered two anglers fishing from a small boat. The anglers appeared to be having some success as they had some fish in a fish basket on the side of the boat. Further investigation revealed three largemouth bass that were under the legal 14-inch size-limit. The angler claimed that he did not plan on keeping the fish and was going to let them go when he was done fishing. CO Ulberg educated the angler on what “immediate release” meant and issued the angler a citation for taking undersized bass.
CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint of individuals fishing in the fish ladder at 6th Street Dam in Grand Rapids. CO Ulberg responded to the area and was able to get into a position for surveillance. CO Ulberg was able to observe one of the anglers actively fishing inside the fish ladder. After contacting the angler, CO Ulberg discovered that the angler also did not have a fishing license. The subject was issued a citation for fishing within a fish ladder and verbally warned about the fishing license violation.
COs Casey Varriale and Justin Ulberg responded to complaints of individuals shooting after hours in the Rogue River SGA. Numerous contacts were made, and citations were issued for the violations.
CO Anna Cullen was checking vessels as they were coming off the water at a state launch in Muskegon County. CO Cullen observed a vessel approach the dock with two individuals on board. Further investigation revealed they did not have any PFDs, a fire extinguisher, and one individual did not have a fishing license after he admitted to fishing. A citation was written for not having the proper number of PFDs on a vessel.
CO Anna Cullen assisted the MSP with a fatal accident in Muskegon County. The accident involved two vehicles with one person being critically injured and another not surviving the impact. CO Cullen, along with the MSP, kept the roadways clear for emergency staff.
CO Sam Schluckbier stopped a UTV that was traveling illegally on the roadway in Allegan County. The driver stated that he had fallen on hard times and lost his driver’s license and his job due to the pandemic. He was driving the ORV to the store to get bread and milk for his children. CO Schluckbier asked if their mother was available to grocery shop for the children. The driver stated that she was taking a nap. After further investigation, CO Schluckbier discovered the subject lost his license many years prior due to multiple traffic violations and numerous encounters with local law enforcement. The subject was cited for unlawfully operating an ORV on public roadways.
CO Schluckbier conducted an evening marine patrol of Green Lake in Allegan County when he encountered two subjects operating a PWC. The driver and passenger were juveniles who had not completed their boater safety certification requirements. The PWC was also being operated after sunset. The subjects were escorted back to their residence and the parent was ticketed for the safety violation. During the same patrol, the COs observed a small fishing boat trolling without navigation lights. Upon checking the vessel, it was discovered that the boat was unregistered and had no PFDs or navigation lights. The laws were explained to the boat owner before they were escorted to the public launch. A citation was issued for the safety violations.
CO Kyle McQueer observed an unregistered ORV being driven in a careless manner down the middle of a county road, with excessive speed, and no helmet on the operator. Upon stopping the vehicle, the operator stated he had no cell service at his campsite and was going to a local gas station to ask for service for his vehicle. The operator was ticketed for the safety violations and given several verbal warnings.
CO Todd Thorn and a group of DNR Wildlife employees successfully captured a goose in Eaton Rapids that had an arrow stuck in its wing and fishing line around its leg. The arrow had been in its wing since early spring and resulted in many calls from concerned citizens. The goose was taken to a wildlife rehabilitator.
COs Nick Wellman, Larn Strawn, Jeff Goss, and Todd Thorn, along with Sgts. Rich Nichols and Troy Bahlau conducted a two-day multi-county boating under the influence (BUI) patrol of problem areas in Jackson and Branch Counties. During the patrol, two men were lodged for BUI. One of the operators was nearly three times the legal limit.
While on ORV patrol, CO David Schaumburger heard a dirt bike fly past him while he was hidden in the woods at an ORV scramble area. The CO located the dirt bike and found two juveniles on the bike, neither were wearing a helmet, and the dirt bike was not made to transport two people. Along with the safety violations, the juveniles were operating on a roadway, which is not allowed in Wayne County. The CO followed the bike home while the second passenger rode in the patrol truck to a residence that looked familiar to him. The owner of the dirt bike had allowed his friends to drive it, and the CO recognized the juvenile owner as he gave him a warning for operating on the roadway and gave his mother a warning for allowing him to ride unsupervised a year ago. This time the CO did not let the parent off the hook and issued a citation for allowing a minor under 16 to operate an ORV unsupervised.
Investigating a RAP complaint of subject possibly in possession of a young turkey vulture, COs Dan Walzak and Ariel Young contacted two subjects who, indeed, had an immature turkey vulture in their apartment. Claiming that they were trying to keep the bird alive to be released, the couple named the bird “Fluffy” and were feeding it bologna and hot dogs. The bird was just starting to acquire its flight feathers and was possibly within a week of being capable of flight. Advising that possession of the bird was unlawful, the bird was taken for delivery to a rehabilitator and a citation was issued for possession of the bird without a rehabilitator’s permit.
After receiving a complaint, COs Ariel Young and Danny Walzak patrolled to Grosse Ile to investigate a resident feeding deer in the driveway. Upon making contact, it was found that the resident was an animal lover and loved watching the deer come near the house. After a little bit of education, the COs issued a verbal warning. Later in the week, CO Keven Luther received a second complaint regarding the same individual who had corn scattered in the driveway yet again. COs Luther and Young patrolled back out to Grosse Ile, located the large pile of corn, and attempted to make contact yet again. The COs were unsuccessful at making contact that afternoon. The following day, COs Young and Walzak were back out to Grosse Ile and contacted the individual and issued a citation for feeding deer in a no feeding zone.
CO Christopher Knights was patrolling south to the district office and conducted a traffic stop. The individual was going approximately 100 mph in a construction zone on I-75. CO Knights issued the individual a citation for speeding.
COs Nick Ingersoll, Danielle Zubek, and Ariel Young were patrolling Lake Erie near the Woodtick Peninsula for the annual party held on the lake. The COs made numerous contacts and issued several verbal warnings for no boater’s safety, improperly wearing PFDs on jet skis, and for navigational anchor lights. Several tickets were issued for failure to wear PFDs on jet skis, fishing without a license, and no navigational lights. The COs responded to multiple calls for assaults and assisted Erie Township Police Department with a domestic violence incident that occurred.
CO Ben Lasher was patrolling the Fair Haven Access Site when he checked a boat at the dock. The female angler advised she had her fish in the cooler. CO Lasher was given permission to check the fish and she was found to have six blue gill over her limit. The boat owner stated all his fish were in the live well, he was three fish under his limit. One ticket was issued for possession of over-limit of blue gills. Both suspects had prior tickets for fish violations.
CO Ben Lasher issued a littering ticket to an occupant of a vehicle parked in the Port Huron Game Area late at night. CO Lasher was observing from a distance before contacting the vehicle when he saw the suspect throw something out the window. CO Lasher made contact and issued the ticket.
CO Bob Watson was patrolling a local state game area where people frequently target shoot. CO Watson contacted two different groups of shooters who had failed to pick up any empty shell casings and failed to bring back their shot targets after they had finished shooting. Each group received a citation for litter.
CO Bob Watson was patrolling the Port Huron SGA when he observed a group of campers from across a small creek. CO Watson snuck closer before making contact since the subjects were camping outside of the legal game area camping dates. Camping is prohibited from May 15 through September 10 within the game area. CO Watson observed one of the campers begin throwing trash into the woods and weeds nearby to dispose of it rather than carrying the trash back to their vehicles. CO Watson contacted the four campers. One had just recently been released from prison, another had a child support warrant, the remaining two did not have valid identification. CO Watson issued citations for litter and for camping in the state game area when prohibited. The individual with the warrant was advised and released.
CO Breanna Reed was patrolling Harsens Island when she contacted two anglers who were shore fishing. While the anglers were searching for their fishing licenses, CO Reed noticed multiple fish in a basket along the shore. When checking the fish, CO Reed noticed three small bass along with several bluegill. She had asked the anglers who had caught the bass; at this time one of the anglers admitted to catching all three of them. The angler told CO Reed that he did not know what the fish were and that he was new to fishing. In previous conversation he told CO Reed that he fishes Harsens Island every few weeks. A citation was issued for possessing undersized bass. CO Reed continued her patrol on Harsens Island contacting several more anglers. One of the anglers stated that she had “about 23 pan fish.” After counting the pan fish, it was determined that she had 28 in her possession along with two short bass. The angler stated that she thought the limit for pan fish was 50, not 25. CO Reed informed the angler that it is her responsibility to know the possession limits for what she is fishing. A citation was issued for over-limit of pan fish and a warning was given for possessing undersized bass. During the patrol on the island, CO Reed also issued a citation for fishing without a license.
CO Breanna Reed was patrolling Harsens Island checking anglers when she noticed four anglers packing up their equipment. Upon contacting the anglers, CO Reed saw two buckets with fish in them. Once determining who the buckets belonged to, CO Reed started counting the pan fish. At that time, she noticed a short bass in one of the buckets. The angler stated that he did not know how long the bass had to be but decided to keep it. A citation was issued for possession of an undersized bass.
CO Jaime Salisbury patrolled the Holloway Reservoir on his patrol boat. Multiple vessels were stopped for slow-no wake violations as well as expired registrations. During the checks, CO Salisbury found a boat with three people aboard that only had two PFDs. A citation was issued for not having enough PFDs on the boat.
CO Jaime Salisbury was patrolling the Holloway Reservoir when he was flagged down by a person on shore. When the CO spoke with the man on shore, he was informed that there was a PWC being driven around with a child on board only wearing water wings. CO Salisbury thanked the concerned citizen and went off the find the PWC. A short time later CO Salisbury located the PWC and saw a child riding behind her mother wearing only water wings. CO Salisbury stopped the PWC, gave the child a PFD, and instructed the operator to meet him on shore nearby. CO Salisbury informed the mother of the dangers of not having a PFD on and issued a citation for operating a PWC without a PFD and a warning for careless operation.
While on ORV patrol CO Joseph Deppen saw an ORV operating at high speeds and drifting into corners of local dirt roads. CO Deppen followed the operator as he blew through stop signs and finally came to a stop near a local residence. CO Deppen issued warnings for improper placement of ORV stickers and careless driving. CO Deppen issued a citation for operating at speeds greater than reasonable.
While finishing marine patrol on Lake St. Clair, CO Joseph Deppen was coming back to the launch in the dark. CO Deppen barely picked up the silhouette of fishing poles high in the air. As CO Deppen looked down, he found two kayakers without any lights and one kayaker without a PFD. CO Deppen gave the kayaker a PFD and escorted them back to the nearest access. CO Deppen issued verbal warnings for no accessible navigation light while kayaking at night and issued one kayaker a citation for no PFD.
CO Brandon Hartleben was travelling eastbound on North Territorial when he observed a vehicle several cars in front of him cross the centerline and nearly force a pickup truck travelling westbound off the roadway. CO Hartleben kept pace with the vehicle but was unable to get any closer due to the amount of traffic. After watching the vehicle cross the centerline several more times, CO Hartleben activated his emergency lights and sirens and was able to get into position to pull the vehicle over. CO Hartleben eventually got the vehicle pulled over on southbound US 23. Upon contacting the operator, he displayed no signs of intoxication nor was there any evidence to suggest he was impaired. CO Hartleben was assisted on scene by Northfield Township Police Department and a consent PBT was administered. The subject was ultimately issued a citation for improper lane use.
CO Brandon Hartleben was working marine patrol on Portage Lake when he was passed by a vessel towing a tuber without an observer. CO Hartleben caught up with the vessel and conducted a stop. A marine safety check was conducted on the vessel and the operator was cited for towing without an observer.
CO Brandon Hartleben was on marine patrol on Bruin Lake on the Halfmoon Chain of Lakes in front of the DNR boat launch and campground when he observed a vessel towing a skier without an observer. CO Hartleben contacted the vessel to address the violation. Upon contacting the vessel, the skier admitted to knowing that they needed an observer but thought that it would be “ok” and was hoping to “get a break.” CO Hartleben issued the subject a citation for towing without an observer.
CO Brandon Hartleben was working marine patrol on Whitmore Lake when he contacted a vessel with four young men fishing. A license and marine safety check of the vessel revealed a missing PFD and one subject fishing without a license. The subject was issued a citation for failure to provide a PFD and given a warning on the fishing violation.
CO Brandon Hartleben was working marine patrol on the Portage Lake Chain when he was passed on the Huron River channel by a vessel displaying a 2019 validation decal. CO Hartleben contacted the operator to discuss the matter and conducted a marine safety check of the vessel. The operator acknowledged that he failed to register the vessel last year when it expired and needed to schedule an appointment with the Secretary of State. Besides the expired registration, the operator was also missing his Type IV PFD. The subject was issued a citation for the missing PFD and given a warning for the registration violation.
CO Brandon Hartleben was working marine patrol on Portage Lake when he was passed by a motorized vessel displaying an unreadable Ohio registration and no validation decal. CO Hartleben contacted the vessel and operator to make further inquiry about the registration status of the vessel. Upon closer examination of the vessel, a 2001 Michigan validation decal was discovered; however, it was determined that the vessel was currently unregistered. A citation was issued for operating an unregistered watercraft.
COs Nicholas Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek were patrolling Lake Erie when they contacted an angler fishing in one of the canals around Woodtick Peninsula. The COs spoke with the angler who first stated he thought he was in Ohio and did not have a Michigan fishing license because he was not in Michigan. The COs educated the angler advising him that he was quite a distance from the Ohio border. The angler quickly changed his story stating that he thought he was on private property then. The COs again educated the angler that he was on a connecting waterway to Lake Erie and that it was a state waterway. The COs verified that the angler did not have a 2020 fishing license and were also advised that the angler had never purchased a fishing license in Michigan. The angler admitted to fishing the past several years in that canal. The COs issued a citation to the angler for fishing without a license.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was checking a popular backroad for ORV activity when he stumbled upon a Ford F150 parked in the middle of the road. When CO Ingersoll approached the vehicle, he observed two subjects cleaning out the concrete from the bed of their pickup. CO Ingersoll asked the individuals what they were doing. Both individuals, shocked to see CO Ingersoll, advised that their buddy advised them there was a hole that needed to be filled and they thought it was a good idea to throw their concrete blocks into the ditch. CO Ingersoll advised both subjects that it was not their property to throw the concrete on, and after a further check of the vehicle, CO Ingersoll located two open containers of Bud Light. CO Ingersoll spoke with both anglers and warned them for the open containers in the vehicle and issued both individuals citations for littering.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither have been working a complaint about ORVs trespassing on a gravel pit. The COs placed a trail camera on an active trail and were able to gain a picture of one of the trespassers, who they recognized due to other incidents around the area. The subject confessed to trespassing when contacted. Charges are being submitted through Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Andrew Monnich and Eric Smither received many calls about an early morning jet ski club on Devils Lake riding within 100 feet of docks and shorelines. The COs were able to set up on an area where it had been occurring and they were able to observe a number of the jet skis operating well within 100 feet of docks, contact was made with the riders and citations were issued.
COs Eric Smither and Andrew Monnich were working marine patrol in Lenawee County over the weekend. Multiple contacts were made, and citations were issued for no PFD on kayak and no safety equipment on ORV.
CO Joe Myers was patrolling Belle Isle on dedicated patrol when a call came across the radio that a woman was scared for her life because there was a woman near her that threated her with a knife. CO Myers arrived at the location of the call and was able to speak to the caller. She stated that a woman, pointing to a woman in a grey dress, had a knife and was scared she was going to hurt someone. After interviewing the parties involved, he concluded that an argument started at home, everyone at the pavilion was related and were having a family cookout. The argument carried over from their residence to the park. The caller was a teenage girl who was scared that a woman, who has a child with her uncle, was going to hurt her with a knife that was in the vehicle. The suspect stated that on their way to Belle Isle the father of her child hit her in the face while having an argument. Injures matched her story. One male was taken into custody for domestic assault. Arrest report was forwarded to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Kyle Bucholtz was on Belle Isle when he came across a personal injury accident involving a single moped. The driver stated his moped had braking issues, causing him to lose control and flip the machine in the roadway. The driver suffered abrasions and a minor laceration. He was treated on scene before being arrested and lodged for a felony home invasion warrant and two misdemeanor warrants.
While patrolling the beach at Belle Isle, COs Ariel Young and Breanna Reed contacted multiple individuals who were enjoying the sunshine with a little bit of alcohol. The COs issued a few warnings. The COs then encountered one female who initially said that her beer was a Pepsi. Upon closer inspection, the Pepsi turned out to be a Labatt’s Blue beer. COs Young and Reed issued a citation for having alcohol at the state park and had her and her friend dump the remaining alcohol they had.
CO Joseph Deppen conducted general patrol on Belle Isle. Multiple citations were issued for speeding throughout the park and one citation for a parking violation. The highest speeding ticket of the day was a motorcyclist driving 81 mph in a 25-mph zone.
COs Joseph Deppen and Breanna Reed were part of a group patrol on Belle Isle for a special assignment. COs issued citations for speed, unrestrained children, and use/possess alcohol in a state park. As the evening was ending, COs were approached by a woman who found a lost child wandering in the park. The COs kept the child comfortable with goldfish crackers and water. COs teamed up and searched the island for his family using information provided by the eight-year-old. After more than an hour the COs located his family near the zoo. The child was reunited with his family.
COs Dan Robinson, Ray Gardner, and Sgt. Chris Maher were working the beach at Belle Isle for alcohol and other violations when a call came out about a distressed swimmer in the Detroit River. The COs were in the area and could see the individual demonstrating characteristics of a struggle in the water. Added with the heavy marine traffic on the river and the fact that he was attempting to swim against the strong current, the COs determined that they needed additional assistance. While attempting to summon an available rescue vessel, the callers, who were out in their vessel, saw the COs glassing the individual swimming and approached the fishing pier where the COs were standing. They offered to take CO Robinson and Sgt. Maher out to the victim. Contact was made and at first the individual refused help, but eventually the COs were able to grab the swimmer and lifted him into the commandeered boat. The swimmer was brought back to shore where he was checked by the ambulance crew and refused future treatment. Aside from being intoxicated, exhausted, and frustrated that the COs did not let him complete his swim across the river, he was returned to the shore safely.
Sgt. Shane Webster patrolled Belle Isle for a Friday morning shift. A citation was issued for speeding to a subject travelling 47 mph on the island which has a 25-mph speed limit heavily posted. The subject was also advised and released on a warrant for marijuana possession out of Highland Park.
Sgt. Shane Webster and CO Katie Baker issued several warnings for speed while patrolling Belle Isle park. They also responded to a topless woman complaint on the beach, the subject was gone upon their arrival. A subject was warned about possibly selling concessions without a permit. He claimed he was “donating” the goods. Being told he was going to be cited if the COs saw money change hands convinced the subject to leave the island.