POLICE BLOTTER: Michigan DNR
Recent actions by law enforcement agencies in Northeast Michigan. This has been only lightly edited.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
July 12-Aug. 8
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.
CO Jon Sklba was on patrol in Presque Isle County when he was passed by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. CO Sklba utilized the patrol truck’s radar to get the vehicle’s speed. The vehicle was traveling 98 mph in a 65 mph zone. The out of state residents claimed the discrepancy was due to the driver usually driving a truck. A ticket was issued.
CO Jon Sklba received a complaint in Presque Isle County of a vehicle that appeared to intentionally run over a Blue Heron. As the complainant stopped to check the status of the bird, the suspect drove away. The investigation continues.
CO Jon Sklba received a complaint in Presque Isle County of vehicles driving on a restricted traffic snowmobile trail. Upon investigation, it was discovered the vehicle belonged to a subject hired to do trail maintenance on the snowmobile trail and was on the trail clearing debris after strong winds.
CO Sheppard was patrolling Lake Winyah in Alpena County. While on the lake, CO Sheppard contacted four young kayakers. Two kayakers did not have PFDs on their vessels. CO Sheppard warned them and educated them on the law. CO Sheppard assisted them in returning to shore to get PFDs.
CO Sheppard received a complaint from DNR Parks and Recreation Division (PRD) while patrolling Alpena County of an incident at the Ossineke State Forest Campground from the prior night. CO Sheppard was advised that there were two or three adults at the campsite fighting and threatening each other after midnight. One of the subjects was allegedly threatening to get his gun. Neighboring campsites tried to step in and were met with several expletives. 911 was called, but by the time the MSP and sheriff’s deputies arrived the suspects had left the scene. CO Sheppard responded to the scene later in the day and contacted the campers at the site. After brief questioning, CO Sheppard advised them that incidents like that will not be tolerated. CO Sheppard gave them until the end of the day to leave the campground.
CO Sheppard received a complaint in Alpena County of ORVs riding on a beach in front of a residence in Ossineke. CO Sheppard responded and followed the ORV tracks back to a nearby residence. CO Sheppard educated those responsible that the beach is not for ORVs and warned them for trespassing and creating erosive conditions.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz assisted the Montmorency County Sheriff’s Department with two domestic altercations. All the responsible parties at both scenes were separated and reports were submitted to the prosecutor for both.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling Albert Township in Montmorency County when he observed two dirt bikes riding down the middle of the roadway on the wrong side of the road. CO Liestenfeltz stopped the dirt bikes and determined that they also did not have valid ORV licenses. After talking with both subjects about how dangerous their decisions were, tickets were issued to both subjects for failing to display a permit on the ORV.
CO Paul Fox was patrolling Tomahawk Flooding in Montmorency County for marine and fishing activity. CO Fox pulled up to a vessel and immediately noticed a juvenile raccoon running about the deck of the vessel. CO Fox inquired as to why the occupants had a raccoon on board their boat. They advised they rescued it as a baby and were raising it themselves. Upon further questioning, it was determined that they did not have a permit to possess the animal, failed to turn it over to a licensed rehabilitator, and transported the animal across several county lines. The animal was seized. The subjects were educated on the laws pertaining to possessing captive wildlife.
CO Sidney Collins was patrolling Montmorency County when she noticed some trash left out on state land at a spot that is regularly used by locals. There was a mattress, pillow, bottles, cardboard, bags, and many other items. CO Collins put on gloves and searched through the trash to try to identify a subject. CO Collins was able to find their camp card they tore down, ripped up and crumbled into pieces. CO Collins was able to put it together to make out a name. CO Collins went to the residence and spoke with the subject who admitted they left trash out there, but thought his friends picked it up before they left. CO Collins issued a ticket for littering and made the subjects clean up their trash.
CO Sidney Collins was patrolling Montmorency County when she saw a license plate not affixed to a vehicle and instead was placed in the rear window. CO Collins checked the plate through the Law Enforcement Information Network, and it came back without insurance. CO Collins made a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver admitted to CO Collins he did not have insurance and was waiting for a paycheck on Thursday to pay for it. CO Collins issued a ticket for not producing a copy of insurance and made the driver of the vehicle find a ride. CO Collins followed up a few days later and determined the operator did buy their insurance.
CO Sidney Collins was working in Alpena County when she received a complaint of a pontoon in a ditch near a state launch. CO Collins ran the motor vehicle code (MC) numbers on the boat and found it to be registered to a downstate man. CO Collins was able to contact the owner of the boat who had some vehicle issues and needed to leave it there at the time. Since the boat was not a road hazard, CO Collins agreed to let the man have a few days to figure out a way to retrieve the boat.
CO Sidney Collins recently solved a larceny case in Montmorency County. Several subjects had been stealing trailer hitches from local campgrounds. After an investigation and interviews, several subjects have been charged with the thefts and the hitches have all been recovered. CO Collins was able to return the hitches to the owners who were very appreciative to have them back.
CO Sidney Collins was patrolling Montmorency County when she and CO Dan Liestenfeltz both responded to a domestic assault. The COs and a Montmorency County Sheriff’s deputy were able to separate the boyfriend and girlfriend. The woman’s son called 911 when her boyfriend pushed her up against the wall and was throwing her around. CO Collins reminded the boy he did a good job to call the police when his mom needed help. Charges are being sought by the prosecutor.
CO Sidney Collins was patrolling Montmorency County when she noticed three ORVs riding in the road instead of on the shoulder of the road. CO Collins initiated a traffic stop. The leader of the group was very upset with CO Collins for stopping him and asking “stupid questions.” CO Collins explained to the subject that it was for safety purposes and is the law. CO Collins found several other violations including placing ORV decals in the wrong spot on all three ORVs, allowing a minor to ride an ORV, allowing two minors to operate ORVs without ORV safety certificates, and an unfastened helmet. The operator was ticketed for numerous violations.
Sgt. Michael Mshar was patrolling a remote area of Montmorency County when he heard bear dogs that sounded like they had an animal treed. After a long hike through the swamp, Sgt. Mshar came upon a treed bear with no less than 17 dogs surrounding the tree and 10 subjects. A discussion ensued about the number of dogs allowed, being eight, to run in a pack. The dog handlers all stated that they did not know they were on the same bear. Sgt. Mshar warned all the subjects on the law and had them remove the animals from the area.