TPWD – Blotter – You Gotta' Love This Stuff

| August 14, 2009

Some time ago, the local paper – Denton Record Chronicle, began running their police blotter on page one. From there it continued on its usual page two. Why did they do this? Because the police blotter is now (and always has been) some of the best reading in modern newspapers. According to my professors of journalism at UNT, the blotter and obits were the equivalent to a writer’s teething ring. That was where you started, and if you weren’t a “sports guy”, you may actually be able to get away with a thing or two along the way. “Sports guys” get away with everything.

Somebody at TPWD sees the interest and occasionally humor in the idiocy of law breakers. It’s like an undercover agent I was working with in California once said, “Most criminals are dumb. We catch those. It’s the smart ones we worry about”.

So, I simply cannot resist the opportunity to show you what happens in the outdoors when outlaws come in direct contact with the law – Texas style.

Game Warden Field Notes

The following are excerpts from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

“More Than” Wardens: On July 25th, two Coke and Sterling county wardens were patrolling Oak Creek. Checking a boat for water safety, they began to leave and observed the boat capsizing. After a quick turn back to the capsized boat, the wardens noticed the pair in the water. Life jackets were thrown to the two, but one was having difficulties and could not get into the life jacket and was going under water. One warden jumped into the water while the other placed the boat next to them and led both men into the boat and to safety.

Thirsty As the Fish: A warden found a group of underage drinkers and fishermen hiding on a canal leading off Balmorhea Lake. After some talking to, picking up litter, and a few citations for providing alcohol to minors and littering, the subjects went on their way a much wiser group of young men.

Mom, Dad, Can I have a White-Tailed Deer?: On July 22, A Grayson County warden cited a Pottsboro man for possessing a white-tailed deer fawn. The subject had the fawn tied up to his front porch with a collar around its neck. The subject was feeding it a pasteurized milk and instant mashed potato formula. Case pending.

Trigger Happy: On July 25, A Coryell County game warden was in the process of writing several no fishing license citations to a group of fishermen on Lake Waco when he heard multiple gunshots coming from the Corps of Engineers property nearby. Upon investigation, the warden found three people in the woods shooting without a permit for the property. During a safety check for more weapons and ammo, marijuana was found on one of the subjects. All three subjects received citations from the Corps of Engineers, and one subject was transported to jail for marijuana possession. The subjects stated that they had just gotten new guns and couldn’t wait to shoot them. Cases pending.

No Tail to Tell: On July 25th, two Polk County Game wardens received a tip while they were checking fishermen below the Lake Livingston Dam about an alligator that had been killed illegally. The wardens patrolled a short distance to a campground and found a discarded alligator carcass that was missing the tail. A short interview and a quick search around a nearby bowfishing campsite yielded the alligator tail and two suspects. The suspects admitted to killing the alligator in the early morning hours on the Trinity River while bowfishing and were charged with taking alligator in closed season and no CITES hide tag/permit. Cases and civil restitution on a 5.5-foot alligator pending.

Got What They Deserved: On July 26, A Calhoun County Game warden received a call that some young men were shooting alligators from a boat in a city park. The warden got a boat and vehicle description and headed that way. By the time the warden caught up with the group, the flat bottom boat had flown out the back of the pickup truck hauling it away. The warden, with the help of a Calhoun County Game Warden, seized the boat, which had no VIN plate on its transom. Soon the group showed up to claim their boat, but in fact it had been reported stolen the day prior. Charges filed for failure to secure load; more charges pending.

No Bueno: On July 26, a Zapata County Game was spotting on Falcon Lake for illegal activity. At approximately 8:30 p.m., the warden observed a commercial fishing vessel enter Texas waters from Mexico. He observed the occupants of the vessel setting out gill net until 9:30 p.m. On July 27 at approximately 3:00 a.m., he and another warden got a boat and headed to the area where the Mexican fishermen were observed the night before. After about an hour and a half of waiting, they saw a Mexican fishing vessel heading in their direction loaded with gill net. The wardens made contact with the vessel and were able to take two individuals into custody. The two fishermen were transported to the Zapata County Jail and charged with fishing without a valid commercial fishing license and possessing illegal equipment in prohibited waters (gill net). The boat, motor, and approximately 3,300 feet of gill net were seized.

Hog Wild: A Haskell County Game warden had been getting complaints on people hunting feral hogs off the road near Haskell. It didn’t take him long to find part of the problem. At 1 a.m. on Sunday the 25th, the warden issued several citations ranging from no hunting licenses to hunting from a public road.

Red and Blue’s A Comin’ for You: A warden was returning home from Lake O.H. Ivie late Saturday night and observed a vehicle traveling a remote county road. He followed the vehicle for several miles, and the vehicle turned around. The warden turned on his headlights and red and blues and attempted to stop the vehicle for not signaling at an intersection. The vehicle failed to stop, sideswiping the warden’s patrol vehicle. The driver stopped a short distance down the road. The driver was arrested for DWI and the passenger for PI.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does: On July 25, a game warden was behind Bringle Lake when a truck went flying down the road and stopped right in front of him. A car then blocked the exit road and a man started walking from the car towards the truck with something in his hand. The truck started to move and a loud bang was heard. The warden stopped the truck and got in between the two vehicles. The man had picked up a rock and in the midst of road rage threw it through the back passenger window of the truck. The very irate man was placed in handcuffs to control him. The warden made contact with the driver of the truck, a very scared 16-year-old. She stated they had passed the man some time ago, and he had been chasing them every since. The man stated when the truck passed him, they threw a can out in front of him and it splashed on his car. The owner of the truck arrived, and the man agreed to pay for the damages so the owner would not press charges. After sitting in handcuffs for a while, the man said his actions were uncalled for and it was a stupid thing to do.

There’s Something in the Water!: On July 27, two Red River County Game observed a spotlight in the distance. The wardens located several individuals a short time later bowfishing in private waters without landowner consent. The wardens summoned the boat to shore and noticed the driver throw something in the water before exiting the vessel. It was found to be methamphetamine, and the subject was placed in custody. Cases pending.

Gotcha!: On July 26th, an Aransas County Game warden apprehended a subject who bought a large amount of shrimp from a commercial shrimp boat captain and then proceeded to set up shop down the street and resell his shrimp at a profitable amount. As the warden approached, the subject asked him if he would like to purchase some shrimp. The warden stated, “No, but I would like to see your license.” The subject handed him a recreational fishing license. A citation for no retail truck dealer’s license closed the “shop.”

A Diamond in the Rough: A marine theft warden obtained a Tampering w/Government Documents conviction on a Tarrant County man, who was also a known “cat burglar.” The individual bought a Baja boat in Oklahoma, paid $54,000 cash, and then falsified the PWD-143 to avoid the taxes. The individual was very hard to locate due to being in jail on another fraud charge. Subject was ordered to pay $2,367.87 to TPWD, and got time served. The U.S. Treasury Department was also investigating the man on similar charges. They served a search warrant on his home and found 85 loose diamonds in a vacuum-cleaner bag. They also found over 100 more diamonds hidden under the carpet that were traced back to prior home burglaries. The boat, a Hummer, and other vehicles were seized.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to think! TFC

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Category: Culture on the Skids, OFF TOPIC

About the Author ()

I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

Comments (6)

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  1. shannon says:

    Man, I just want TPWD to take this one off my hands — in exchange for a lifetime fishing license (all waters of course). Everybody’s got their price don’t they?

  2. Cindy says:

    well if twitter won’t directly let you import a feed, then you could create a blog which posts the feed, and set the blog to twitter every time there’s a new post. it’d be complicated, but it’d get the job done.

  3. shannon says:

    Yeah, but how do i get it into digits – you know 1’s and 0’s?

  4. Cindy says:

    do they even make those? anyways – borrowing books is free too.

  5. shannon says:

    Yeah, but this stuff is free to glom off the TPWD site. I am still trying to get a twitter feed of TPWD into my twitter account by the same name. They went around and now have TPWDnews for their feed. I would have given it to them – in exchange for a lifetime state fishing license!

  6. Cindy says:

    if you like this kind of stuff you’d definitely like the book “Hey Ranger”, I have the first and second volumes. I’ll let you borrow them sometime.