Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) John Kamps assisted multiple police and fire agencies with the evacuation of a nine-story apartment complex on fire in the city of Marquette. As CO Kamps arrived on scene, large amounts of smoke were seen coming from the roof of the 9th floor of the building. CO Kamps made his way to the 9th floor and started assisting residents in evacuating the building. All residents were evacuated safely, and no injuries were reported.
Sergeant (Sgt.) Mark Leadman was travelling on M95 near Republic when he observed a car quickly approaching from behind. The vehicle caught up to Sgt. Leadman’s vehicle and immediately began passing the patrol vehicle and another vehicle directly in front of him. Oncoming traffic was present at the time and vehicles travelling in both directions had to take immediate evasive action including hard braking and swerving into the gravel portion of the shoulder to avoid a head-on collision. Sgt. Leadman made a traffic stop on the vehicle and issued a careless driving ticket to the single male subject in the vehicle.
CO Brian Lasanen investigated a complaint of a person taking rocks from the state-owned shoreline of Lake Superior and landscaping his front yard with the rocks. After a brief interview, the person admitted to taking the rocks from state-owned beaches and landscaping his yard. The subject was ticketed for illegal removal of the rocks.
CO Jenni Hanson was contacted by an Ironwood resident who caught a cougar on his game camera. CO Hanson and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Biologist Brad Johnson met with the resident and investigated the location of the sighting, confirming it to be an accurate picture.
CO Viau received a call from Iron County Central Dispatch about a lady who had a rattlesnake trapped in a bin in her basement. When CO Viau arrived at the residence, the woman had the snake captured in a plastic container in her garage. CO Viau was able to identify the snake as a fox snake, commonly referred to as a pine snake, which rattles its tail when threatened to mimic a rattlesnake. The woman was grateful to the CO for removing the snake from her home. CO Viau released the snake on a rural piece of state land.
CO Jeremy Sergey was patrolling Lake Michigan when he noticed a vessel operating very erratically. CO Sergey followed the vessel for some time and watched it circle around another vessel very closely. When CO Sergey caught up to the vessels, he realized the second vessel was plowing through the waves and couldn’t get up on plane. The operator told CO Sergey he was taking on water. CO Sergey directed the first vessel to head to Cedar River and clear the boat launch as a fishing tournament had just ended and there were several people pulling their boats. CO Sergey escorted the sinking vessel back to the boat launch in case it sank. The vessel and its crew all made it back safely.
CO Stephen Butzin was leaving an area in Fairbanks Township after checking a boater when he observed a vehicle swerving on a roadway. After following the vehicle for a short distance, it came to a stop near an intersection, and pulled off the roadway. CO Butzin walked up to the vehicle to check on the driver who informed the officer that she had stopped so that she could eat a sandwich. Further investigation found the driver to be Operating While under the Influence (OWI) of marijuana and intoxicants. The driver was arrested for OWI 3rd Offense and lodged at the Delta County jail. The driver also had seven previous convictions of driving while their license was suspended.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten were on Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) patrol when they were waved down by a group of individuals on ORVs. The group stated that they had lost three members of their group and were unable to locate them. The COs used their knowledge of the area to figure out where the group may have been stranded and assisted until they were reunited with the lost riders.
COs Calvin Smith and Cole VanOosten were on their way to a local lake for marine patrol when they came across a truck that was stopped on an angle on the side of a roadway. There was a woman in the driver seat that was unresponsive and slouched over the steering wheel. The officers knocked on the window until the woman responded to them. While speaking with the woman, it became apparent that she was under the influence of alcohol. After failing Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), she was placed under arrest for OWI and lodged in the Alger County Jail.
CO Chad Baldwin and other COs from District 3 participated in the annual military exercise known as Northern Strike. CO Baldwin acted as the opposing force while operating his vessel on Mullet Lake in Cheboygan County. Military helicopters targeted CO Baldwin as he maneuvered his vessel around the lake while trying to evade their weapons systems. The training is unique to the helicopter pilots as it provides them the opportunity to engage a vessel in “real world” scenarios. CO Baldwin was unsuccessful in evading the military helicopters and was “destroyed” in every scenario. This is a great opportunity for the DNR Law Enforcement Division to cross train with the military.
CO Chad Baldwin received a call from central dispatch notifying him that two parasailers had gone down in Lake Michigan and were struggling to stay afloat as they became tangled in their lines in front of Fisherman’s Island State Park. CO Baldwin had just arrived at his patrol boat to initiate a marine patrol as the call came out. CO Ethen Mapes was on his way to meet CO Baldwin and was not far behind. CO Mapes and a Charlevoix Sheriff’s deputy jumped on another patrol boat and made their way out to Lake Michigan as well. CO Baldwin was closing in on the location and began searching for the downed parasailers. The lake was very rough and made locating anyone very difficult. After several minutes, CO Baldwin had spotted the parasailers who had apparently cut themselves free and were now near shore. Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel were standing by on shore and were able to render aid as the parasailers approached shallow water.
COs Chad Baldwin and Ethen Mapes attended the first annual National Night Out at the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department. The COs had a large variety of equipment on hand for visitors to look at as well as several tables set up with various animal furs and information about the job of a conservation officer. Besides the COs, all divisions from the sheriff’s department were present along with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), local Emergency Medical Technicians, fire departments, and emergency management. Overall, the event was a big success and was estimated to have 250 visitors present.
CO Andrea Albert responded to an emergency call from the mother of two young teens that were an hour and a half overdue on a wave runner that was out on Lake Michigan. CO Albert and the USCG responded to the scene. CO Albert was able to relay additional search information received from the Antrim County Sheriff’s marine patrol who was onshore at the complainant’s residence to the USCG helicopter. The USCG helicopter found the two boys on the wave runner about nine miles north of where they planned on returning to shore. CO Albert responded to the boys’ location, checked on their welfare, and escorted them back to their residence. Both teens were in good shape as they were confused on where their residence was located on shore.
While on marine patrol on Torch Lake, CO Andrea Albert stopped a boat for a registration violation with a 19-year-old operator and 19-year-old passenger. Further investigation found the operator was intoxicated and both teens were in possession of 74 cans of beer and a bottle of liquor. The operator was lodged in jail for OWI and ticketed for Minor In Possession (MIP) of alcohol. The passenger was ticketed for MIP of alcohol. CO Albert was assisted by the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s marine patrol, the Antrim County Sheriff’s marine patrol, and road patrol.
COs Adam LeClerc and Kyle Cherry patrolled Burt Lake and Indian River during an outboard boat race. The public was excited to see the COs on the water during the race. The COs assisted with one racer that hit a large wave and took on water, eventually capsizing his boat. The driver had no injuries and was wearing a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) and helmet. The COs blocked the area until the race tow boat could come and tow the boat back to shore.
Sergeant (Sgt). William Webster was patrolling the Ellsworth area when he came across a vehicle stuck in the ditch leaning up against bushes and a small tree. Sgt. Webster checked the occupants of the vehicle and got them out due to the incline and risk of the vehicle rolling down the embankment. Sgt. Webster requested a wrecker and directed traffic while the vehicle was extracted from the steep embankment. If it had not been for the bushes and small tree, the vehicle would have rolled down the hill. The operator was from out of town and, while doing a U-turn, the front wheel got sucked down the hill and the driver couldn’t get out.
CO Jessie Curtis was on routine patrol in Montmorency County with Michigan State Police (MSP) Trooper Killingbeck when they observed a vehicle in front of the patrol vehicle weaving back and forth, hitting the center line and the fog line. Trooper Killingbeck and CO Curtis conducted a traffic stop. The subject had open intoxicants in the vehicle, a loaded gun, and six knives on their person. The subject was arrested for OWI and carrying concealed weapons while under the influence.
CO Jon Sklba was contacted by a corporal with the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game. The New Mexico agent and CO Sklba had worked on an illegal elk case the year prior and the agent advised that some of the charges had gone through the court system and resulted in the Michigan resident having his hunting and fishing rights revoked in New Mexico. Since Michigan and New Mexico are part of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, the subject’s hunting and fishing rights in Michigan get revoked. A quick search of the subject in Michigan showed that he had already purchased his 2019 deer hunting license. CO Sklba was able to contact the local resident and serve a letter stating his hunting and fishing rights in Michigan had been revoked due to charges in New Mexico and to recover the deer licenses he had already purchased.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz assisted the Montmorency County Sheriff’s Department with a domestic dispute in Albert Township. Before arriving to the scene, the suspect took a shotgun and left the residence east of the house. Individuals inside the home believed the subject was hiding in a camper trailer near the back of the property. After the officers set up a perimeter on the trailer, CO Liestenfeltz noticed the suspect walk out of the woods on the opposite side of the property. The subject was taken into custody with no issues.
While off duty at his residence, Sgt. Dan Bigger heard a crash in front of his home. Upon going to the front yard, he observed a vehicle sideways in the road and an individual and a bicycle laying in front of it. Sgt. Bigger ran to the cyclist and it was confirmed that the vehicle had hit him and immediately began administering first aid. Once preliminary observations were complete, Sgt. Bigger was able to get his patrol truck to block traffic while he continued to monitor and clean out wounds. The subject was turned over for transport to EMS once all wounds were taken care of. The subject contacted Sgt. Bigger later that night to thank him and advise that he was recovering well.
While on his way to Detroit for a trial, Sgt. Dan Bigger observed smoke on the south side of East US-10. Sgt. Bigger pulled over as soon as he could and backed up to the location of the smoke. It was a grass fire and was spreading along the expressway and causing impaired visibility. Sgt. Bigger positioned his patrol truck to slow traffic and move it around the fire. Sgt. Bigger was able to keep the fire contained into a small area until local fire responded to finish putting the fire out.
CO Troy Ludwig was patrolling Lake Mitchell when he observed a boat towing two tubers without an observer. The CO contacted the vessel and the operator stated that he knew he should have had an observer, but the lake really wasn’t that busy. A citation was issued for towing with no observer.
COs Patrick McManus and Rich Stowe, along with other law enforcement from the MSP, Benzie County Sheriff’s Office, and National Park Service conducted a public and marine safety saturation patrol of the Platte River and surrounding areas. The dedicated patrol focused on PFD enforcement, marine safety checks, alcohol related incidents, fishing license checks, and overall presence along the river. Numerous citations were issued related to the targeted enforcement efforts mentioned, along with several vehicle stops resulting in alcohol, drug, and warrant related arrests.
In one shift, CO Patrick McManus assisted the Benzie County Sheriff’s Department with multiple calls around the county due to a heavy volume of complaints called in almost simultaneously to the Benzie County Emergency Dispatch Center. First, CO McManus was asked to assist with a subject who was heavily intoxicated and overdosed on prescription medication while floating down the Platte River. Shortly after that scene, CO McManus was asked to back up a Frankfort City police officer who stopped a subject that was also highly intoxicated and had a felony parole violation warrant for his arrest. The warrant was related to resisting a police officer. Only minutes after assisting with the subject in Frankfort, Benzie Central Dispatch requested CO McManus to respond to a domestic dispute call involving the possible use of a weapon. Upon arrival, CO McManus determined that no assault had occurred, and there was no weapon used at any point during the verbal confrontation with all parties involved.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed a vehicle drive past him displaying an expired registration along with the driver not wearing a seatbelt. CO Killingbeck stopped the vehicle and, upon contact with the driver, was informed that the vehicle’s plate was expired and that there was no insurance. CO Killingbeck asked the driver for his license and the driver said that he had forgotten it at home. The driver then advised CO Killingbeck that he had several warrants for his arrest and had a suspended driver’s license. CO Killingbeck determined that the driver was indeed suspended and had five warrants for his arrest. The subject’s girlfriend was called to come and pick up a juvenile in the vehicle. When the girlfriend arrived, CO Killingbeck discovered that she had three warrants for her arrest. Arrangements were made for the juvenile and vehicle. Both subjects were arrested and lodged in the Lake County Jail on the warrants.
COs Troy Van Gelderen and Josh Reed were working the Silver Lake Sand Dunes when they saw a subject on top of a dune flagging them down. The COs went to the bottom of the dune and found a subject covered in blood next to a crashed dirt bike. It was determined that the operator had jumped the dune and crashed. The COs provided medical attention and waited for the ambulance to arrive. While waiting for the ambulance, it was determined that the operator had a suspended license and had never transferred the title on his motorcycle when he purchased it. A ticket was issued for the suspended license, and a warning was given for the failure to transfer the title.
COs Tim Barboza and Josh Wright noticed a vehicle drive over a grass hill and onto M115, blowing out a tire as they entered M115. The vehicle then began to drive in reverse and then back forward. COs Wright and Barboza conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver got out of the vehicle and showed obvious signs of being intoxicated. When asked to step back in the vehicle, the driver refused and said, “Take me to jail, I’m drunk anyway.” The driver had driven through the someone’s front yard, running over multiple objects in the process. The individual was arrested for OWI and transported to the Clare County Jail.
CO Charlie Jones was flagged down while crossing the bridge on the Manistee River in Garfield Township of Kalkaska County. CO Jones was informed of a young girl and her father who were stuck under the bridge against a pillar by the fast water current. CO Jones threw his rescue rope bag to the young girl and father one at a time and brought them safely to the bank. The two were relieved to be out of the bad situation and thanked CO Jones.
While patrolling Lake St. Helen, CO Kyle Bader observed a pontoon boat traveling across the lake at full speed. There was a small boy sitting on the bow of the boat, dangling his legs in the water and causing water to spray up onto the deck of the pontoon. CO Bader stopped the boat and explained the dangerous aspects of the activity. The operator of the boat didn’t really think it was a big deal, even after CO Bader explained how quickly a small passenger could get pulled into the water and severely injured by the propeller. The man was issued a citation for allowing a passenger to ride on the bow and was given a warning for inadequate safety equipment. The operator didn’t believe he should be responsible for the safety equipment since he rented the boat.
COs Phil Hudson and Ethan Gainforth assisted the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department recover a stolen boat. The boat was discovered by a local fisherman after it had been abandoned by the thieves. The COs used their patrol boat to locate the stolen vessel floating on Saginaw Bay and brought it back to shore. The boat was returned to the rightful owner and the sheriff’s department is investigating the theft.
While patrolling Gladwin County, CO Mark Papineau received a complaint from the Report All Poaching (RAP) line regarding a subject that suspiciously loaded a “heavy” cooler from his boat into a parked truck at the Wixom Lake boat launch. According to the caller, two subjects in a fishing boat pulled up to the launch acting very suspicious. The subjects quickly secured a large cooler from the boat over into the bed of a truck under a tonneau cover. Then they left again on the boat. After a couple hours of surveillance, CO Papineau contacted both subjects when they returned to shore. During a check of the boat, CO Papineau found 24 panfish in the live well. After the subjects advised they had no other fish, a consent search of the vehicle revealed a cooler containing 96 additional panfish. The two subjects were issued citations for the 70 panfish over their limit.
While patrolling Gladwin County, CO Mark Papineau was contacted by the Secord Township fire chief regarding a subject that was reportedly setting fires in the woods. Upon arrival at the private campground in Secord Township, CO Papineau was advised of an ongoing neighbor dispute between the campground owners and the subject. According to the campground owner, the subject recently had been served notice for trespassing and he continues to violate the order. Several witnesses were interviewed, and CO Papineau was advised that numerous fires had been set intentionally on the campground property to harass the campers and the owner. After six fires were extinguished, an interview of the intoxicated suspect was conducted. During the interview, the suspect admitted to being served a trespass notice and a confession was obtained for trespassing and the intentionally fire sets. The suspect was arrested for felony arson and lodged in the Gladwin County Jail. Additional trespass charges were issued by the Gladwin County Prosecutor’s Office.
While on patrol in Clare County, COs Joshua Wright and Timothy Barboza observed a car coming over a hill from private property jumping a curb onto M115 and attempting to drive down the shoulder with a heavily damaged vehicle and a flat tire. The operator attempted to pull back onto M115 before the COs conducted a stop on the vehicle. The subject appeared intoxicated but refused field sobrieties and a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). A Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) inquiry revealed that the man’s driving status was suspended and he was recently released from jail on bond. The vehicle also did not have insurance at the time of the incident. The operator was arrested for Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) and OWI. While checking the area closer, it appeared the man missed turning onto a road off from M115 where he immediately struck an AT&T fiber optic cable box and ran over a small tree before pulling back onto M115. A search warrant for the man’s blood was secured and he was lodged in the Clare County Jail. The subject is facing charges including OWI, operating without security, DWLS, and violating the terms of his bond.
COs Josh Russell and Mike Haas were on marine patrol on Six Lakes when they noticed a pontoon boat operating without its navigation lights after sunset. The COs contacted the subjects in the vessel and observed the operator put a beer down by his leg. The COs witnessed multiple indicators that the operator was impaired. The operator was assisted boarding the COs’ vessel for further investigation. The operator was arrested after the investigation for Boating while Under the Influence (BUI) of intoxicants and transported to the Montcalm County Jail.
COs Adam Beuthin, Kyle Bucholtz, and Matthew Neterer were on a marine patrol during Caseville’s Cheeseburger Festival when they observed a vessel with a subject that appeared to be passed out on the stern. The COs also noticed that he was not wearing a PFD. The situation appeared very dangerous. After making contact, the COs were able to wake the individual up. He was severely intoxicated, so the COs moved him into the vessel and placed a PFD on him. CO Beuthin then directed his attention to the boat operator. The COs noticed that the operator was having a difficult time following directions and was stumbling around the vessel. CO Beuthin then had the subject put on a PFD and assisted him in boarding the patrol vessel. The operator was then put through sobriety tests. After failing the tests, the subject was placed under arrest and lodged at the Huron County Jail for operating a vessel while intoxicated.
CO Quincy Gowenlock was patrolling the Shiawassee River State Game Area (SGA) when he received a call from a Saginaw County deputy of a body found on state land in Swan Creek Township. CO Gowenlock responded to the area and assisted the deputies with securing the area. A kayaker reported a vehicle submerged in the creek by the state boat launch, of which he could barely see the roof. The dive team responded and extracted an elderly male victim from the driver seat. The incident is under investigation by the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department.
CO Dan Robinson was patrolling an Isabella County lake and noticed an individual fishing from his dock. As the CO approached, he noticed that the subject had four lines in the water. CO Robinson asked the subject for a fishing license, which he produced, and asked the man how many lines he had. The man answered “four” and then was asked how many lines he can have in the water; he stated, “three.” He said that three of his poles he was using to target walleye or bass, and the other pole, a handline, he was using to catch bait. A citation was issued for fishing with over three lines.
CO Jay Person was on marine patrol on Wixom Lake with CO Jason A. Smith when a boating accident occurred in Clare County. The officers responded and assisted with the sheriff’s department and EMS after a couple of people being pulled on a tube collided with a docked vessel. Two people were taken to the hospital, one with what appeared to be a compound fracture of both the tibia and fibula.
While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers was contacted by wildlife staff regarding camping in the Flat River State Game Area (SGA). Members of the staff had made contact and informed the subjects they were currently not allowed to camp. They then asked the subjects to pack their belongings and move. At that time, the subjects became very combative and refused to leave, yelling and cussing at the staff. The staff also stated the camp was not well kept, with trash and belongings strewn about. After receiving the information, CO Beavers checked the area and located the camp. At the time of his check, CO Beavers contacted one of the campers. CO Beavers asked why they refused to leave, and the subject stated she was unsure if they were really from the DNR. CO Beavers told the subject they were, and they should have left. CO Beavers then issued the subject a citation for camping at the SGA when prohibited.
In Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers checked activity at the Webber Dam. CO Beavers observed a subject fishing near the fish ladder. Shortly after CO Beavers’ arrival, the subject packed his belongings and headed to the parking lot. CO Beavers watched the subject as he exited. The subject was carrying a bucket and two bags, along with his fishing gear. As the subject got to the top of the hill, he noticed CO Beavers but avoided contact. CO Beavers followed the subject to the parking lot and made contact. The subject showed CO Beavers his fishing license and opened the bucket, where he had a small amount of bluegill. CO Beavers then asked the subject what was in the bags. The subject opened a bag containing fishing gear. CO Beavers asked the subject if there was fish in the final bag, which was then opened by the subject, showing three smallmouth bass. CO Beavers had the subject pull the fish from the bag, and quickly noticed that two were small and the third would be close. After measuring the fish, it was determined the subject was in possession of two smallmouth bass less than 14 inches and cited for the infraction.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling when she observed multiple people fishing in the Muskegon Causeway. When contacting the individuals, she observed one of the contacts start packing up their stuff and leaving in a rapid manor. CO Cullen ended her current contact and attempted to contact the individual and his son. It was determined the father spoke rough English, had an expired driver’s license since 2009, and did not have a valid fishing license. The subject was immediately verbally combative and making a scene in the parking lot. CO Cullen asked for backup to assist in controlling the individual. Since CO Cullen did not see him actively drive, she advised for him to arrange to have someone pick the vehicle up. A citation was issued for fishing without a license.
CO Anna Cullen observed a large amount of sand kicked up on some powerlines with no vehicles present. CO Cullen continued down the powerlines and soon heard a large explosion and loud music. CO Cullen continued her patrol and observed a group of individuals having an excessively large bonfire down a two-track road. When she contacted the individuals, it was determined they were all under 21 and were in possession of alcohol. Enforcement action was taken, and the individuals were removed from the area.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol in Allegan County where he witnessed an individual operating an ORV without a helmet. CO Varriale conducted a traffic stop and discovered the operator had two babies between his legs. The operator was safely escorted back to his residence and educated about operating ORVs in closed areas, not wearing proper safety equipment, and having more people for which the ORV seating was designed.
COs Casey Varriale and Richard Cardenas were on patrol on the south pier in Grand Haven in Ottawa County when they were flagged down by guests attending the Coast Guard Festival. At the scene, witnesses said a young woman had an epileptic seizure and needed medical attention. COs Varriale and Cardenas provided medical attention for the young woman. The young woman admitted to smoking excessively from a vape pen which CO Cardenas later identified as Marihuana Dabs. The young woman was sent to the hospital for treatment.
While checking the Paw Paw River near Maple Lake, CO Tyler Cole observed a subject net a pike out of the river with a hand net. CO Cole watched the subject attempt to net more fish for approximately 30 more minutes and made contact. The subject claimed to have been netting for minnows and crayfish. When CO Cole let the subject know that he had witnessed him net a pike, the subject claimed that he just could not resist when he saw the pike. The pike was released, and a citation was issued to the subject for “Take Fish/Illegal Method.”
CO Kyle McQueer and Capt. David Malloch were patrolling Lockport Township, St. Joseph County, when they observed an individual setting up a fishing pole at the Three Rivers Dam. Upon further observation, the individual had another pole set up near the woods with the line in the water. After running a file and Retail Sales System check, it was determined that the individual did not have a current fishing license and had a misdemeanor warrant out of Kalamazoo. A citation was issued for fishing without a license and the individual was lodged in the St. Joseph County Jail where he will wait to be transported to Kalamazoo.
While patrolling Lake Macatawa in Ottawa County, COs Samuel Schluckbier and Carter Woodwyk observed a Personal Water Craft (PWC) registration that was expired. Contact was made with the two subjects riding the PWC. The driver did not have a boater safety certificate, which is required to operate a PWC. The owner of the PWC was properly licensed and switched to the operator. A citation was issued for failure to register his vessel.
COs Carter Woodwyk and Samuel Schluckbier were patrolling Lake Michigan in the Ottawa County area when they observed an angler approximately five miles offshore. The COs got closer to the vessel and only observed one person on board with five fishing lines actively in the water. The angler stated he knew he was over his limit of three lines and did not expect to see a CO this far out. A citation was issued for fishing with more than three lines.
CO Nick Wellman was leaving the Branch County Fair when he was dispatched to assist MSP with what was called out as an intoxicated male breaking windows in a parking lot near the fair. CO Wellman responded and, during the response, the call changed to a fight between the intoxicated male and another man. Upon arrival, CO Wellman and MSP troopers identified the suspect in question who turned out not to be intoxicated, but rather, a 13-year-old autistic male who was having a panic attack. The other man involved was his father who was trying to calm him down. CO Wellman and MSP troopers calmed the young man down until he could be checked out by medics and cleared.
CO Nick Wellman went to assist a Branch County Deputy with a 17-year-old male who was having an altercation with his mother and refused to exit her vehicle. Upon arrival, the boy made statements that he was going to try to get police to shoot and kill him if any law enforcement showed up. He also made statements to the officers that he did not want to live anymore. The young man was transported to Coldwater Promedica Hospital for evaluation.
COs Shane Webster and Eric Smither responded to a request for assistance. A turkey vulture had flown through a window of a residence and was stuck in the bathroom. The COs were able to escort the bird out of the residence without any further harm.
CO Todd Thorn received a phone call from a DNR Wildlife employee who had noticed that a gate in the Dansville SGA had been manipulated in that the bolts holding the gate in place were removed and the gate put back in place to look like everything was normal. CO Thorn responded and contacted CO John Byars to have him respond as well. When CO Thorn arrived, he located a vehicle parked back in the corner of a field surrounded by woods. The vehicle had its hazard lights flashing and the engine was turned off. CO Thorn approached and, when he got within 50 feet of the vehicle, the driver started the car and drove towards the officer. CO Thorn ordered the man to stop the car, at which point it became evident that the driver was intoxicated. CO Thorn approached and saw a loaded pistol sitting on the driver’s seat beside the driver, and a half full bottle of vodka on the passenger seat. CO Thorn secured the firearm and took the keys out of the ignition. The man was handcuffed, and he then attempted to run into woods. COs Thorn and Byars caught the man and placed him in a patrol car. Further investigation revealed that there was an improper plate on the vehicle, more intoxicants, and that the man was more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit. Felony and misdemeanor charges were sought and approved through the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office. The man was lodged at the Ingham County Jail.
CO Nathan Beelman and Sgt. Rich Nickols were on patrol in Eaton Rapids when they contacted two anglers who were fishing at Mill Point Park. One angler admitted to not having a fishing license and, while trying to find his driver’s license in his vehicle, the angler stated, “Don’t search the car; there are a lot of drugs in there.” The angler appeared to be intoxicated when he was contacted. The angler had purchased fishing licenses in the past but believed he did not need one now since he was only doing catch and release fishing. The angler was issued a citation for fishing without a license and no drugs were located during the search of the car.
COs Shannon Kritz and Nathan Beelman received a call about a deer that had fallen and was trapped in a five-foot-deep window well. The deer had attempted to self-rescue multiple times resulting in minor injuries. The COs arrived and were able to use a tow strap and loop it around the deer and hoist it out of the well to safety.
CO Nick Ingersoll was checking anglers at Sterling State Park’s boat launch when he observed a vessel come in without any navigation lights on. Sunset was at 8:53 p.m. and the vessel came into the dock at 9:33 p.m. CO Ingersoll asked why they did not have their navigation lights on, and the driver stated that they just wanted to get in and didn’t have time to put them up. The operator asked if they could get a warning for it due to them having everything else being good on their vessel. CO Ingersoll stressed the importance of having navigation lights and driving without lights on their vessel at night is dangerous. The driver was cited for failure of having no navigation lights while underway.
CO Nick Ingersoll was checking anglers leaving the Hot Ponds in Monroe County when he contacted two anglers who did well that morning on channel catfish. CO Ingersoll recognized one of the anglers due to the angler receiving a citation for possession of over-limit of catfish a month prior. The angler advised CO Ingersoll that he had 11 channel catfish and was over his limit again. CO Ingersoll then counted the angler’s fish and it was determined that the angler had miscounted and only had 10. CO Ingersoll then contacted the other angler who advised CO Ingersoll he was over-limit and had 12. CO Ingersoll counted the channel catfish of the second angler and determined that the angler had caught 12. CO Ingersoll issued a citation to the second angler for possession of over-limit of channel catfish.
CO Brandon Vacek was patrolling a popular fishing location in Monroe County. When the CO entered the parking area, he observed an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) stuck in the mud near the beach area. The CO contacted the operator and his passenger, who were attempting to ride out onto the beach when they became stuck. The CO advised the subjects of several violations. The subject agreed to fix the damage to the landscape caused by the ATV or possibly face additional charges. The CO issued the subject a citation for failure to license the ORV.
On August 6, 2019, COs Brandon Vacek and Keven Luther attended the 2019 National Night Out held at the Dearborn Police Station. National Night Out is a team building community, family event with local and federal first responders networking with the public. COs Vacek and Luther contacted and engaged over 300 citizens of the metro Detroit area. They explained the different entities of the Michigan DNR as well as explaining the role of Michigan conservation officers.
CO David Schaumburger has been receiving complaints of people trespassing to fish at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Humbug Unit Pier. The facility is still under construction and guests are not allowed to enter. On one check, CO Schaumburger observed a pontoon tied off to the pier and two anglers sitting on the pier fishing. The CO made contact and it was discovered neither of the two had fishing licenses. The subjects also were in possession of two undersize smallmouth bass, the pontoon boat had an expired registration, and the owner failed to transfer the title from when he purchased it three months previously. The anglers were given tickets to address the fishing licenses and undersize smallmouth bass.
While patrolling the Holloway Reservoir, CO Justin Muehlhauser observed a PWC operate too close to the designated swim area. The operator stopped by one of the buoys and was talking to a couple swimmers. The operator then quickly accelerated away again operating greater than slow/no wake within 100 feet of the swim area. The CO stopped the vessel and determined that the operator was not marine safety certified. The operator was cited for the violations and escorted back to shore. He was ordered not to operate the PWC until he completes a boater’s safety course.
COs Tom Peterson and Joe Deppen were participating in a group patrol focusing on slow/no wake on Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. During the patrol, a call came out over the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) emergency radio that a woman in Little Muscamoot Bay was having a medical emergency and was unresponsive. The COs were first on scene and assessed the situation. Through interviewing some of the patient’s friends, it was discovered that she was highly intoxicated. COs Deppen and Peterson then loaded the individual on board their patrol vessel and transported the individual to shore. While in transit, the COs administered first aid until they reached nearby Harsens Island, where she was further treated by fire and EMS, and then transported to a nearby hospital.
CO Jacob Griffin and Sgt. Jason Becker were checking an area known for ORV trespass issues. The COs encountered 15 subjects using a lake in a gravel pit for fishing and swimming. Through further investigation, most of the subjects had identification from foreign countries and spoke very little English. CO Griffin checked with U.S. Immigration to verify identities of the subjects. Trespass violations were addressed with the subjects and U.S. Immigration will be following up with the subjects regarding their status in the United States.
COs Kris Kiel and Pat Hartsig stopped a PWC towing a tuber without an observer in St. Clair County. It was found that the operator failed to take the required boater’s safety course. A citation was written for towing a tuber without an observer and a warning was given for no boater safety certificate.
CO Kris Kiel contacted a father and son who were riding a dirt bike in a local sand pit well known for ORV trespassing in Macomb County. It was the third day in a row that they had been in there, but the COs were unable to get there in time the previous two days to catch them. A citation was written for an unlicensed ORV and a warning was given for ORV trespass.
CO Brad Silorey investigated a RAP complaint this week of a subject that was shooting at geese with a pellet gun. Multiple witnesses observed the subject, and local police were able to interview the witnesses and subject the night of the incident. CO Silorey followed up with one of the witnesses to gather additional information and retrieve a goose carcass that one witness had found the following morning. The goose carcass had what appeared to be an entrance wound on the body and blood on the feathers. The goose was sent to Michigan State University for a complete necropsy and evidence retrieval. The investigation is ongoing.
COs Raymond Gardner and Robert Watson were on patrol at the Raft Off event on Lake St. Clair. While there, CO Gardner spotted a boat that he had issued a warning to the operator for operating an unregistered vessel and told her not to operate the boat until it was registered on the previous day. CO Gardner contacted the operator again and found out that she did not get the boat registered yet. She told CO Gardner that the owner of the boat was unfamiliar with the law that states a documented vessel must also be registered with the state and has a lawyer “looking into it.” CO Gardner showed the operator the law, explained it again, let her take a picture of it, and then issued her a citation for operating an unregistered vessel.
While on marine patrol on Lake St. Clair, CO Joseph Deppen noticed a vessel weaving in and out of anchored vessels at greater than slow/no wake speed. The driver took off at a high rate of speed and the COs conducted a stop on the water. The driver was having difficulties speaking and appeared to be intoxicated. While contacting the vessel operator, CO Deppen detected the odor of intoxicants coming from the operator’s mouth. CO Deppen asked the operator if he had been drinking, at which time he admitted to having a few beers. The operator was transported onto COs Kris Kiel and Pat Hartsig’ s patrol vessel. SFSTs were administered, and the operator did not pass. A PBT was administered after the operator agreed, and the operator blew a 0.174 BAC. The operator was arrested for suspicion of Boating Under the Influence and lodged at the St. Clair County Jail.
On Sunday, August 11, Sgt. Troy Bahlau had just arrived on the island for duty and was immediately flagged down on the back side of the island by a group of citizens. Sgt. Bahlau was advised that two females in kayaks had been capsized out in the river by the large ship that just went through along with other heavy boat traffic. The two females were separated from their kayaks and were struggling in the waves to make it back to shore. Neither was wearing a PFD but managed to grab them to hold on to. Sgt. Bahlau ran down river to get ahead of them and climbed out to a rock formation and deployed his rescue disc into their path. The first female was able to grab the line and reach out to the second female to secure her. Sgt. Bahlau along with several other citizens were then able to pull the two females safely back into to shore.
While checking on a parking complaint on Belle Isle, CO Joseph Deppen noticed a group of three individuals jumping the fence and trespassing in the Belle Isle Zoo. CO Deppen went to the location and waited for the trespassers to exit. Upon their exit, the group was talked to about trespassing and were each issued a citation.
CO Ethen Mapes was patrolling Belle Isle Park when he was dispatched to an overturned jet ski in the Detroit River. CO Mapes responded to the shoreline where he spotted two individuals in the water floating a short distance from their jet ski. Within a few short moments, a passerby picked up the jet skiers and brought them back to their jet skis. Both individuals were wearing PFDs.
CO Jon Sheppard and other law enforcement working on Belle Isle were dispatched to the nature center where a child fell and hit his head. Upon arrival, the injury was minor, and first aid was administered. EMS responded and transported the child to the hospital.
CO Jon Sheppard was patrolling Belle Isle when he was dispatched to one of the event shelters where a man had passed out, fell, and hit his head. First aid was administered to the man who had suffered injuries to his head and mouth. EMS transported him to the hospital.
CO Sidney Collins was on Belle Isle when she responded to a complaint of two subjects fighting. CO Collins and an MSP trooper responded to the scene where both subjects fled before they arrived. After some searching for the subjects, they were located and interviewed. Both subjects did not want to make complaints and it was unclear who the aggressor was. Neither were cooperative. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Sidney Collins was patrolling Belle Isle when she drove by a vehicle with a child in the car. The windows were rolled up and the doors were locked. CO Collins searched the area for a parent when a man came out with his daughter. CO Collins was able to get the door open and get the child out of the hot car. The parent said he just gotten out of the car as they were about to leave after fishing. CO Collins explained that with hot weather vehicles can reach high temperatures very quickly. The child was unharmed.