June 2016 CT DEEP Highlights

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    On 06/16/16 while on routine patrol Officer Johnston encountered a large party in Paugusset State Forest in the town of Newtown. Several individuals were issued infractions for park violations and evicted from the forest.

    On 06/18/16 Officer Johnston and Redding PD officers were dispatched to Collis P Huntington State Park in Redding for a large party of underage youths with alcohol, on an island in the middle of the lake. The youths had gained access to the island by canoe. Parents were contacted and arrived to the scene. Nine individuals were issued infractions for boating and park violations.

    On 6/16/16, Officer Mihalyak and Officer Hage responded to Lake Zoar State Boat Launch for a report of a physical altercation. Upon investigation the officers found that a DEEP Maintainer had approached boat launch visitor about his dogs being off leash and going to the bathroom in the boat launch area. The visitor took issue with this and the fact that the Maintainer was taking pictures of him with his dogs. The visitor responded hostilely and slapped at the Maintainer’s phone as he was taking pictures of them. There was a verbal argument between the two, which was witnessed by a nearby fisherman. The visitor was issued an infraction for violations of Creating a Public Disturbance and Walking Dog Off Leash. The park maintainer refused immediate medical attention.


    On 6/25/16, Officer’s Hage and Johnston were on boating enforcement patrol for the Candlewood Lake Fireworks Display on Candlewood Lake. While on patrol, they were alerted to a vessel operator who was possibly boating under the influence. Officers were advised that the accused was unable to perform simple tasks such as anchoring his vessel, had drifted into another vessel, and that another vessel operator suspected that the accused may have be drunk. The Officer’s approached the accused to perform a safe boating check and observed the accused unable to complete two standardized screening tasks. The Officers also observed that the accused’s speech was slurred and that the four other female passengers on the vessel had been drinking heavily. The accused was taken to shore where he failed to successfully complete the sobriety tests to standard. The accused stated that he had not drank alcohol at all that day but admitted to consuming multiple prescription and over-the-counter drugs at various points throughout the day. The accused also stated that he did not have a safe boating certificate and that he did not know that he needed one. The accused was taken to Brookfield PD for processing. He was charged with violations of Boating Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs, Prescription Drugs Not In Original Container, and Operating A Vessel W/O A Safe Boating Certificate.

    On 6/22/2016, at approximately 1800 hours, Officer Flockhart responded to Walsh Rd. in Newington for a report of a nuisance black bear roaming the streets and neighborhood. Upon arrival it was determined that the bear was in a highly residential area stuck in a fenced in back yard with no escape refuge and a large crowd had gathered. With the assistance from Newington Police and Animal Control, Officer Flockhart was able to tree the bear and requested the assistance of the Chemical Immobilization Team to assist. Officer Johnston and Sergeant Williams arrived on scene and were successfully able to immobilize the bear and relocate it to a more suitable habitat without incident.
    On 6/24/2016 Officers Yescott, Defelice and Sergeant Williams responded to Atwood Rd. in Canton for a report of a 70 year old woman that had been bitten by a black bear. The elderly woman was interviewed and it was determined that she indeed had been bitten in the left buttocks area while she was clearing a small brush pile in her yard. The woman, who has a prosthetic right leg, stated she never saw or heard the bear coming up behind her. She stated that she felt something brush up against her left leg and looked down to see the head of the bear at her hip as it bit her. The woman was transported to UCONN Health Center for a medical evaluation. It was determined by hospital staff that the bite did not puncture the skin. A tetanus shot was given and she was later released. Officers searched the area for the bear with negative results. The Wildlife Division followed up by setting a trap for the bear on the property which produced negative results.
    District officers responded to a total of 37 calls for service regarding nuisance bears. 30 in the Northwest Sector and 7 in the Southwest Sector.
    Four District officers participated in 5 public outreach events during the month. These events consisted of hunter education classes, wildlife events, and group talks.

    Marine District Highlights- June 2016

    Commercial Fishing Violation
    On June 7th, 2016, Officer Stone received information from the Bureau of Aquaculture about a possible commercial seed oyster violation. The seed oyster vessel “Joseph Julius” was actively dredging in the Housatonic River. The vessel is permitted to remove large (greater than two inches) oysters from the Housatonic River and transport them to the Bridgeport Natural Beds only. Officer Stone observed the vessel dredging and upon completion, exited the river and proceeded to head towards Milford, rather than Bridgeport. Officer Stone immediately responded to the area via vessel with the assistance of Aquaculture personnel and upon arrival observed the “Joseph Julius” offloading the oysters into a lot in Milford leased by the captain’s company. The captain was issued a misdemeanor summons for Violation of Shellfish License and the large amount of remaining oysters were returned to the Housatonic River where they belong. As a result of the arrest, the Bureau of Aquaculture imposed a “Cease and Desist” order closing the leased Milford bed for six months to ensure that any possible contaminated oysters do not reach the market.

    On June 17, 2016 Officer Reilly was dispatched to Hammonasset Beach State Park for a report of two suspects breaking into a park patron’s vehicle. The victim observed one of the suspects inside her vehicle, going through her wallet. Both suspects were identified and detained pending the investigation. One suspect admitted going in the vehicle claiming he thought it was his friend’s car. He was arrested and charged with Burglary 3rd and Attempt to Commit Larceny 6th. The second suspect, not seen entering the vehicle, was taken into custody for an outstanding PRAWN warrant issued for Failure to Appear 2nd. Both individuals were processed accordingly at Troop F, Westbrook Barracks.

    Marine Zone officers investigated multiple boating accidents throughout the month of June including fatal and near fatal manually propelled vessel accidents.

    East District Highlights- June 2016

    Fatal Boating / Water Incidents
    In the early evening of Saturday, June 18th, Officers Ulkus, Curran, Nivolo, Scatena, and Sergeants Dwyer and Stanko responded to Cedar Lake, Chester, for a 48 year old male and 49 year old female who went into the water unexpectedly when their canoe capsized. The female was rescued by two fishermen in a nearby vessel, but the male had apparently gone underwater. Chester Fire / EMS, State Police and Middletown dive teams responded and searched the waters and shores throughout the night. They were aided by EnCon Officer Reilly and K9 Hunter. The following morning the male was located by CSP, retrieved by their divers.

    Mid-day on Thursday, June 23rd, Officers Scatena, Tavares, Williams and Sergeant Dwyer responded with State Police, local fire, EMS and dive units to a report of a male swimmer going underwater and not resurfacing at Killingly Pond State Park, Killingly. The 28 year old male had been picnicking with friends and apparently went underwater while trying to swim out to a rock. A fisherman on shore witnessed where the male disappeared, swam out and attempted unsuccessfully to reach him, he then treaded water in that location until a rescue diver arrived and recovered the victim. The male subject was transported to Day Kimball Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. EnCon Police and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner continue to investigate the incident.

    Operation DryWater Initiative
    EnCon police officers around the state once again participated in the 8th annual National Operation DryWater (ODW) boating safety enforcement weekend, which enlists boating agencies nationwide to increase awareness and conduct patrols to detect Boating Under the Influence (BUI) during the last weekend of June. On Saturday, June 25th, Officers Lindo, Ruggiero and Tavares, Sergeant Stanko and Captain Lundin, along with East Haddam and Essex marine constables, patrolled portions of the lower Connecticut River from Essex through Haddam / East Hampton, checked boaters. Officers used the Salmon River State Boat Launch in East Haddam, and provided vessel patrols to two television news crews who brought the boating safety / BUI prevention message to the public that evening. Officers in this initiative made contact with over eighty (80) boaters, issuing eight (8) citations for speed/wake, safety equipment and certificate violations, along with numerous other warnings. One boater was arrested on two outstanding warrants, processed, and later released on a cash bond at the Westbrook State Police barracks

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