April 2016 CT DEEP Highlights

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    East DistrictHighlights- April 2016
    Public Safety Assists
    On April 2,2016, Officer Ruggiero was on patrol in Middlefield when he overheard a statepolice call concerning a juvenile male who had approached a homeownerreportedly trying to sell a gun. OfficerRuggiero took a post near the suspect’s last known location while othertroopers were responding, and within minutes he observed the suspect, matchingthe description given, with what appeared to be a handgun visible.Officer Ruggiero approached the juvenile,disarmed him of a realistic ‘airsoft’ weapon, and detained him until troopersarrived.The juvenile was cited forbreach of peace.
    On themorning of April 11, 2016, Colchester Police became aware of an incident wherea 14 year old male indicated on social media that he intended to harm himself,with further information that he intended to jump from a ledge at Devils HopyardState Park, East Haddam. Officer Ulkusresponded to the park along with East Haddam, Colchester, State Police andlocal fire/rescue units, where the subject’s bicycle was located at a picnicpavilion.Officer Ulkus, along with anEast Haddam officer, first encountered the unharmed subject as the subjectapproached a trail summit, engaged him, and persuaded him to descend from thesummit.He was transported to a medicalfacility for evaluation.

    Boating Incidents / Patrols
    Whileconducting high school crew practice on Coventry Lake on April 7th,three sculls encountered rough weather and one capsized, with eighteen (18)students from the E.O. Smith school team ending up in the water.Fourteen students were transported to WindhamHospital but received no treatment; Officers Pettus and Ulkus investigated theincident, found no violations, and determined that weather had been a primaryfactor.
    On April 30,2016 a joint US Coast Guard / EnCon Police vessel patrol of the mid-section ofthe Connecticut River was conducted. Officer Ulkus checked numerous fishermen and boaters, issued sixwarnings and citations for fishing and boating violations, and terminated twovessels for lack of lifejackets.He alsoissued a summons for taking herring during the emergency closure and failure tostandby to a male who continuously threw herring overboard upon the officer’sapproach after he identified himself.

    Enforcement Activity

    EasternDistrict officers were kept active during the month of April, issuing overtwenty fishing violations, more than twenty park and forest citations, and overten ATV violations.
    They were alsoactive with several outreach events at local schools and in connection with theopening of the fishing season.

    Marine District Highlights– April 2016


    On April 13,2016 officer Tefft was on patrol in the town of Groton. While traveling on Route 12 he observed avehicle driving erratically. Theoperator was driving in an unsafe manner, crossing the center line and passingother vehicles. Officer Tefft stoppedthe operator and quickly observed that he was exhibited signs of being underthe influence of alcohol. The operatorof the vehicle failed numerous field sobriety tests and was transported to GrotonTown Police Department for processing. The operator was charged with Driving Under The Influence, Engaging anOfficer in Pursuit, Failure To Maintain Proper Lane, Following Too Close, and Passingon the right. The arrested man isscheduled to appear in New London Superior court on April 28, 2016.

    On April 22,2016 officer Blackwell responded to a complaint of a vehicle locked insideHammonassett Beach State Park. The parkcloses at sunset and the operator of the vehicle had flagged down a Madisonpolice officer to help get her out. Theoperator showed signs of being under the influence of alcohol and admitted toconsuming beverages in the park that afternoon. The female operator was unable to perform the standardized fieldsobriety tests and numerous liquor bottles were found within her vehicle. The suspect was transported to the StatePolice barracks for processing where she refused any further tests. The operator was charged with Driving UnderThe Influence, and Hours Of Operation violation. She is scheduled to appear in New HavenSuperior court on May 4, 2016.

    Fleeing Fisherman

    On April 17,2016 officers Mihalyak and Nivolo responded to a complaint of an individualtaking undersized striped bass from the Housatonic River. A description of the violator was given toofficers who searched the shoreline from Shelton to Stratford. An individual matching the description wasfound fishing in Stratford. In hispossession was an undersized striped bass and he could not produce a validfishing license. The man was also wantedby Groton City Police for an outstanding felony warrant. Once the suspect learned that he was wanted,he fled on foot. The suspect ran andofficers gave chase where he then went into the water. Once in the water the exhausted man gave upand was taken into custody by the officers waiting on shore. The suspect was charged with Interfering WithAn Officer, Fishing Without A License, and Possession Of Striped Bass Less ThanThe Legal Length. He was transported tothe State Police barracks in Westbrook, where he was then taken into custody byGroton City Police for the outstanding warrant.

    Ilegal Shellfishing

    On April 24,2016 Officer Stone was dispatched to Gulf Beach in Milford for a report ofpeople clamming in a closed area. Officer Stone discovered three males actively digging clams in GulfPond. The individuals had four fullbuckets of clams (each contained approximately 50 clams). The clams were seized and returned to thewaters where they belonged due to the fact that the area is closed to anyshellfishing activity. The threesuspects were issued infractions for illegal shellfishing in Milford. All three were non-residents of CT.


    In the early morning hours of04/27/16, officers of the State EnCon Police, acting on an anonymous tip,staked out a hunting blind on the Bloomfield Game Club property on Terry PlainsRd. in Bloomfield. The accused, the Bloomfield Game Club president, wasapprehended for illegally turkey hunting from the hunting blind. Theaccused was illegally baiting turkey with cracked corn and did not have anypermits to hunt wild turkey. He was charged with Negligent Hunting 4th Degree, andIllegal Hunting With The Use Of Artificial Bait.

    On04/23/2016, Officer Mihalyak was dispatched to the Wallace Dam on theQuinnipiac River in Wallingford for the report of an individual snagging fish. Uponarrival Officer Mihalyak observed the accused fishing below the Wallace Damattempting to snag fish. The accused had a weighted treble hook that is used tosnag fish, he admitted to snagging and had already caught two white sucker fish. Officer Mihalyak issued an infraction to theaccused for Snagging and a License Null & Void was issued.
    On 4/25/16, Officer Hage wasdispatched to a report of individuals catching river herring at WethersfieldCove in Wethersfield. Upon arrival Officer Hage observed several men fishing onthe shoreline. As he approached the fishermen, one individual cut the lines ontwo of his fishing poles. Officer Hage called out to him telling him notto touch the lines but the individual disregarded the directive. OfficerHage conducted a fishing compliance check and discovered that anotherindividual in the group was fishing with a live river herring baited at the endof his line. The accused was charged with Failure to standby and Illegal TakingOf River Herring.

    On 04/17/2016 at approximately1517 hours, Officer Heath was dispatched to West Hartford for a report of a blackbear in a highly populated urban area with no proximity to suitable habitat. SergeantK. Williams and Officer Chickos were also dispatched as Tranquilizer Team members.Upon arrival there were approximately 10-15 adults and children within 10-15yards of the bear taking pictures and “selfies” with the bear. Thebear was cornered by a garage and a fence with its back to a spruce tree. Thecrowd was dispersed and the bear was treed. West Hartford Police weredispatched to assist with the large crowd that was gathering. The bear wassuccessfully tranquilized and relocated to the nearest suitable habitat.

    OnMonday, April 24, 2016 Officer Norton and Sergeant Begley responded to a reportof a forest fire on Skiff Mountain Road. Officer Norton made contact with KentFire Chief, Eric Epstein, who stated that there were two individuals camping inthe woods located between Skiff Mountain Road and River Road off of theAppalachian Trail. According to Chief Epstein the two individuals had started acampfire to cook, which in return got out of control. In addition to the ConnecticutState Forestry Division and Kent Fire Department, multiple departments werealso requested and responded for additional support. The two individuals wereinterviewed and a statements were obtained. The investigation determined thefire had originated from a campfire kindled to cook lunch. Once the campfirewas lit, an ember jumped from the fire to some nearby oak leafs catching themon fire. The male was able to momentarily stomp the fire out, but it quicklyre-lit, spread, and resulted in burning approximately 10 acres of wooded area.The accused was issued a Misdemeanor Summons for Open Air Burning Ban and was givena court date for GA 18 in Bantam.

    Six Districtofficers participated in six public outreach events during the month of April.These events consisted of career fairs, ride-a-longs, school talks, and fishingevents.

    Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
    Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police

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