May 2016 CT DEEP Highlights

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    wishinone
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    May Highlights

    East DistrictHighlights- May 2016

    Boating Incident
    On the morning of May 22, 2016, Officers Ruggiero, Ulkus,Danielson, Scatena-Kurtzenacker and Sgt. Dwyer along with local fire, EMS andState Police responded to a report of a capsized canoe with two people in thewater at Lake of Isles, North Stonington. A twenty-eight year old male and his fifty year old father apparentlywent into the water without wearing lifejackets; the son was pulled to shore bya witness, while the father was located over an hour later by divers.He was brought to shore and pronounceddeceased at the scene.EnCon Policecontinue to investigate.

    Driving Under the Influence Arrest
    Sunday evening, May 29th, EnCon Police werenotified of a single vehicle accident at the state-owned Sunrise Resort in EastHaddam.Upon arrival Officer Arsenaultand Sgt. Dwyer found a 51 year old lone male occupant at the wheel of thevehicle which had struck a rock, and who showed signs of intoxication.The male was found to be uninjured, failedfield sobriety tests, and was arrested for driving while under the influence ofalcohol.He was processed and releasedpending a future court appearance.

    Park Enforcement
    In the early morning hours of May 9th OfficersLindo, Reilly and O’Brien were called to a complaint of a loud party in theEast Hampton section of Meshomasic State Forest.While entering the forest, Officer Lindoencountered eight late-teen males who advised him of a group of over 30 peoplefurther on in the forest, in an area where a 16 year old had been the weekbefore and had been reportedly hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.Eventually a large group of youths werelocated, without alcohol; ten individuals received trespassing citations andall parties were evicted.

    Marine District MonthlyHighlights – May 2016

    Illegal Hunting

    On May 29,2016 Officer Logiodice was called to assist Old Saybrook Police officers, whoresponded to a private residence in town in which an individual was shooting ata flock of turkeys. Officers seized aPellet rifle from a suspect located at the scene. The suspect stated that he shot at the birdsto scare them off because his neighbor didn’t want to be woken up by thegobbling Toms early in the morning hours. The season for hunting Turkeys was closed and the suspect did not haveany licenses or permits to hunt turkeys. The suspect was charged with: Hunting on Sunday, Hunting without alicense, Hunting turkeys without permits and Hunting turkeys during the closedseason. The accused is scheduled to appearin Middletown Superior Court in June.

    Fishing Citations

    In the monthof May, Marine district officers issued 18 – license citations (warnings &infraction), 8 -Striped Bass misdemeanorcitations, 4 – Fluke / Black Sea Bass citations and 2 – blue crabviolations.

    Naval Security Escort

    On May 2,2016 a Naval Tall ship from Mexico was due into New London Harbor for a portvisit. Marine District officers providedwaterborne security for the Tall ship into the Harbor. They assisted the US Coast Guard and severallocal vessels in welcoming the visiting ship and safely escorted them into thePort of New London. The US Navyparticipated in a gun salute from Fort Trumbull as the ship passed by into theHarbor.

    Boat Accident

    On May 25,2016 Officer Reilly was dispatched to the Niantic River area for a report of aboating accident. The US Coast Guard hadresponded to the area of Two Tree Island for a report of vessel taking onwater. During the course of theinvestigation it was determined that a passenger, not familiar with the hazardsaround the Island, was operating the twenty one foot boat when it struck somerocks on the North end of the Island. The collision caused the lower unit and part of the transmission to betorn off of the boat. This caused thevessel to take on water. No injurieswere reported and the operator was issued a written warning for: Illegaloperation of a vessel without a valid boating certificate and the cause was dueto operator error and improper lookout.

    Western District Highlights

    HUNTING ENFORCEMENT:

    On05/21/2016, Officer Mihalyak was dispatched to the report of an individualhaving shot and harvested a turkey in an unauthorized area. On arrival he met the accused in the parkingarea.Officer Mihalyak walked with theaccused to the area where the turkey was shot, located the shotgun shell and apile of feathers and determined that the turkey was shot legally on stateproperty.He followed up the initialinvestigation and checked with licensing and revenue to determine if the accusedhad reported harvesting a turkey.Theaccused had not done as of 05/23/2016.The accused had a significant history of fish and game violationsincluding Failure to have HIP permit while hunting, Illegally carrying afirearm, hunting within 500 feet of a dwelling, and Illegally fishing with morethan six tip ups / jigs in combination.The accused was given a misdemeanor summons for Failure to report takingof turkey within 24 hours.

    On 5/21/16, Officer Yescottinvestigated a turkey hunting complaint and determined that a Farmington man spentthe morning turkey hunting with two youth hunters. After a successful hunt byone of the youths the accused then went home, leaving and allowing both juniorhunters to continue hunting without any supervision. The accused wascited for two counts of allowing junior hunters to hunt without supervision.

    HUNTER HARASSMENT:

    On 5/5/16 Officer Norton stationedhimself on foot on the Woodbury Southbury Rod and Gun Club property on TownLine Road along with the complainant of a harassment incident. OfficerFlockhart was stationed on the Woodbury Southbury Rod and Gun property onBenton Road in her vehicle. While Officer Norton was stationed on Town LineRoad, the complainant actively attempted to “call in” turkeys from theirlocation. At approximately 0748 hours, Officer Norton observed multiple turkeysheading northerly from the field across Town Line Road towards their locationin response to the “calling.” As the turkeys were approximately half way acrossthe field on the opposite side of the road, Officer Norton observed asilver-colored Volkswagen pull out of the nearby driveway, and slowly head downTown Line Road. As the vehicle passed by the “cable gate” it stopped for a fewseconds to check the fields on both sides of the road. The vehicle then proceeded down Town Line Roada short distance where the operator then pulled the vehicle into the fieldwhere the turkeys had been seen in. The operator of the vehicle then proceededto exit the silver-colored Volkswagen, and walked across the field towards theturkeys’ location. As the operator approached the turkeys Officer Nortonobserved her moving her arms in what appeared to be an attempt to “push” theturkeys back in a southerly direction, away from the complainant’s and OfficerNorton’s location. At this time Officer Norton and Officer Flockhart made contactwith the operator of the silver-colored Volkswagen. The officers explained tothe operator that she could not partake in chasing turkeys away from individualsthat were actively hunting, nor can she beep at wildlife in an attempt toaffect wildlife behavior. The operator questioned Officer Flockhart and OfficerNorton as to why. Officer Flockhart and Officer Norton politely explained thatit is illegal and her actions matched that of Harassment of Hunters as it islisted under Connecticut State Law. The operator was then issued and explaineda Misdemeanor Summons for Harassment of Hunters.

    NUISANCE/EXOTICWILDLIFE:

    On 05/13/2016, Officer Mihalyak was dispatched to the report of anindividual attempting to sell indigenous Northern Water Snakes through a closedFacebook group. He was provided withscreen shots of the post by the complainant and made contact with theindividual attempting to sell the Northern Water Snakes.The accused was informed by Officer Mihalyakthat it was illegal to sell any game birds, wild quadrupeds, reptiles oramphibians.The accused did not have anyprevious wildlife violations and was issued a written warning for Illegal sale ofbirds, quadrupeds, reptiles or amphibians.

    CRIMINALINVESTIGATIONS:

    On04/18/16, while on fishing enforcement patrol on the Quinnipiac River inMeriden, Officer Hage observed two individuals actively fishing. He approachedto conduct a fishing compliance check and noticed that bothindividual’s fishing licenses were irregular. Officer Hage began tosuspect that the licenses were forged. An investigation was subsequentlystarted by the entire southwest sector in cooperation with multipleDEEP departments including staff from licensing and boating. Through thisinvestigation, the officers confirmed that the fishing licenses had indeedbeen forged. One of the accused individuals then also stated toinvestigating officers that the fishing licenses were forged by theaccused and that they had known that the licenses were forged whenthey produced them to Officer Hage on the Quinnipiac River. The licenses wereprinted in an exactly identical format to a valid 2011 fishing licensecomplete with working watermark. Southwest officers applied for a warrant foreach of the accused and the warrants were signed by the State’s Attorneyand Judge. The two accused individuals turned themselves in to EnCON officers. Theaccused individuals were charged with Forgery 2nd degree, Conspiracy to commitforgery in the 2nd degree, and Fishing without a license.

    On5/12/16 at approx. 0830 hours dispatch was notified of a missing female hikeron the Appalachian Trail. The incident was reported by hikers, after theystayed at a camp/shelter and found what they described as a females grey andlime green pack with white headphones. The group stayed the night anddiscovered the female had not returned by morning, fearing that she either wasabducted or drowned in the river, they notified this police agency. SergeantBegley with the assistance of a Troop L K-9, and Troop B, Officer Norton and SergeantWilliams responded to the remote area to investigate. While approaching theshelter Sergeant Begley observed a disheveled male hiker leaving with ashouldered grey and lime green pack holding white head phones. Sergeant Begleysignaled the suspect to stop, but the male immediately dumped his gear andjumped off the cliff into the Housatonic River. Sergeant Begley pursued themale and apprehended him on the opposite side of the river. During the footpursuit the male dumped a container believed to contain heroin into the river. Thesuspect was charged with the Possession of Heroin and Interfering. Troop K-9officers conducted a thorough search for the container but were unsuccessful inlocating it down river. The accused was later found to be the prime suspect inan incident involving unwanted sexual advances of teenage girls at a private schoolnot far from his camp. The investigation revealed that the missing females gearwas in fact his. It was apparent that the intervention of law enforcement atthis stage could have been critical to preventing a serious crime of beingcommitted.

    ILLEGALTRAPPING:

    On05/23/2016, Officer Mihalyak was contacted by Ansonia Animal Control regardingan individual possibly illegally trapping cats in Ansonia. He met with the accused who said he had trapson his property to catch rats, woodchucks, and raccoons because they wereeating his plants.The accused had fourunpadded metal traps and two homemade box traps set up on his property.The accused name was not attached or stampedon any of the traps as required.Each ofthe four unpadded metal traps was set on land in the open with concrete blocksand wood used to funnel wildlife through the traps.The traps were not located near any watersource as required.The unpadded metaltraps were illegally set and were a grave public safety risk to children andanimals. The accused was issued amisdemeanor summons for Trapping with an illegal trap, Illegal trap set and Failureto have name on traps.The unpaddedmetal traps were seized as evidence.

    PUBLICSAFETY:

    On 5/10/16 a male was hiking off trail at Talcott Mountain. Thearea was a steep ravine adjacent to a sheer cliff. He lost his footing and fellapproximately 50 feet, landed against a tree and lost consciousness. Officer Yescottresponded and facilitated his rescue with the assistance of the Simsbury Fire,Police, and Ambulance. The hiker was flown by Life Star to Hartford hospital tobe treated for his injuries.

    PUBLICOUTREACH:

    SixDistrict officers participated in 6 public outreach events during the month.These events consisted of career fairs, ride-a-longs, and school talks.

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

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