Western District Highlights September 2020 Boating: On Labor Day weekend, Encon Police from Western District responded to multiple complaints of boat accidents, parking issues and boating violations originating from an unpermitted event organized at the Bissell Bridge State boat Launch in Windsor Meadows State Park. One PWC accident with significant injuries occurred on the evening of September 5th. Both victims were transported to the hospital, with one victim sustaining compound fractures and a broken femur. The vessels were seized as evidence, and the accident is under investigation by Western District officers with the assistance of our Boating Accident Reconstruction Unit. On the morning of September 6th, 2020, ENCON officers responded back to the Bissell Bridge Boat Launch to address camping, parking, and traffic issues occurring at the launch. While on scene officers assisted Windsor FD with a water rescue involving a swimmer participating in the event on the island. The juvenile victim was transported by Windsor EMS to the hospital. Later in the afternoon, more officers from the Northwest and the Eastern District arrived by vehicle and vessel to assist with the ongoing event. Several infractions were issued over the course of the weekend for both parking and boating safety violations. Park & Forest Enforcement:
On September 18, 2020 officers from the Southwest Sector were dispatched to Naugatuck State Forest for the report a one car motor vehicle accident into a tree within the Beacon Falls section of the State Forest. Upon officer’s arrival, the Infiniti M37 was found disabled and unoccupied. A NCIC/COLLECT inquiry revealed the Infiniti was reported stolen during the early morning hours of September 18th in Seymour. The scene was secured, and Seymour PD was notified of the recovery. Seymour PD Detectives arrived and obtained DNA evidence from within the vehicle as part of their stolen motor vehicle investigation.
On September 17, 2020 at approximately 1045 hours, Northwest officers were dispatched to Paugnut State Forest located in Torrington for a report of a hunter who self-reported that he shot a black bear. The hunter provided a video and explained that the bear was holding its’ ground and would not leave the hunter. The hunter stated that he shot the bear with his crossbow to protect himself. The deceased bear was located, and a necropsy was conducted with the DEEP Wildlife Division. The case remains under investigation. On September 22, 2020 at approximately 1714 hours, DEEP Emergency Dispatch received a complaint from Thomaston Police regarding a gravely injured or dead bear with two cubs in the wood line at a residence and Northwest officers were dispatched and once on scene immediately found that the bear was deceased. Thomaston Police had determined with their initial investigation that the bear was shot by the neighbor. The incident was captured on the camera footage via a neighbor’s security cameras on their residence. Based on the officer’s investigation, the suspect was identified and was issued a misdemeanor summons for Illegal taking of a black bear along with items being seized as evidence as a part of this crime. On September 23, 2020 officers from the Southwest Sector responded to Towantic Road in Oxford for the report of a bear killed by a homeowner. Upon arrival, officers spoke with homeowners who stated on the night prior they were awoken by noises coming from the chicken coop in their backyard. The homeowners stated they observed a large black bear inside the enclosed chicken coop actively attacking and killing their chickens. Several attempts were made by the homeowners to scare the bear out of the area however, the bear remained inside the coop. The homeowner retrieved their shotgun and fired one shot to the bear’s side as it was at the doorway of the coop. The bear fled from the area and was later found deceased approximately 25 yards in the woods. The homeowners stated they were missing approximately two chickens. Based upon the investigation, officers concluded there was no criminal aspect to the actions taken by the homeowner due to the bear actively attacking and killing their chickens within an enclosed/ secured area. Furthermore, the angle at which the shot was taken showed no risk to public safety or negligence. Western District officers responded to eighteen (18) nuisance bear complaints. Nuisance Wildlife: Western District officers responded to eighteen (18) nuisance wildlife calls, to include but limited to raccoon, deer, hawk, heron, squirrel and coyote. K-9 calls for service: On September 3, 2020 Off. Flockhart and K9 Mattie were dispatched to a search for a missing suicidal male in the town of Mystic. The male was located alive by K9 Mattie. On September 13, 2020 Off. Flockhart and K9 Ellie were dispatched to assist the State Police Major Crime Unit with a homicide investigation and cadaver search in Mattatuck State Forest, in Watertown CT. On September 24, 2020 Off. Flockhart and K9 Mattie were dispatched to a search for a missing suicidal male in the town of Orange.
Marine District Highlights September 2020
Commercial Marine Fishing Enforcement:
On September 24th, 2020 Encon Officers partnered with the USCG conducting commercial fishing enforcement on Long Island Sound. A commercial fishing vessel was boarded at sea for inspection of both USCG boating safety regulations and their commercial trip limit catch. There were three individuals onboard. During the inspection, a vessel trip report (VTR) was provided by the captain of the vessel as required by federal and state law, however none of the three individuals possessed a State of CT Commercial Fishing License to even be fishing commercially. The vessel operator did possess a commercial landing permit, but no commercial fishing license. Said captain had previously had his state commercial fishing license suspended for 20 years. Approximately 300 pounds of fish including scup, fluke and sea bass were seized. The operator of the vessel was issued a misdemeanor summons for commercial fishing without a license. The entire catch was brought to Gambardella’s wholesale market where it was sold. The proceeds of the auction were held by the State of Connecticut pending court disposition.
Recreational Marine Fishing Enforcement:
On September 2nd, 2020 Encon Officers were patrolling the Long Wharf Pier in New Haven and observed two individuals keeping excessive amounts of bluefish. Upon inspection, everyone possessed 15 bluefish. Everyone was issued an infraction for the violation and the illegal fish were seized and donated to a local wildlife rehabilitator. Encon Officers were also patrolling Cove Island in Stamford and observed and individual in possession of 32 bluefish. That individual was also issued an infraction for the violation.
Another Encon Officer was patrolling Long Island Sound in Milford and observed an individual in possession of two short striped bass and one short fluke. The striped bass measured 18 inches and the fluke measured 18 inches. The individual was issued an infraction for the violation and the fish were seized and donated to a local wildlife rehabilitator.
On September 5th, 2020 Encon Officers responded to a complaint of illegal blue crab harvesting on the causeway in Old Saybrook. Upon arrival the Officers observed two individuals taking numerous blue crabs. One individual was observed walking into the woods as the Officers approached. The Officers conducted a compliance check and found over 126 short blue crabs between the two individuals. The crabs were returned to the water. The individuals were issued infractions with multiple counts of over the daily limit of blue crabs and short blue crabs.
On September 7th, 2020 an Encon Officer was patrolling Long Island Sound in Madison and observed two individuals fishing in a vessel at Kimberly Reef. A fishing compliance check was conducted, and the individuals were asked if they had any fish on board their vessel. The captain of the vessel stated, “I have to be honest; I have a lot of short fish on my boat”. An inspection of the fish revealed to be scup and black sea bass. A total of 25 black sea bass were in the bow compartment of the vessel, 22 of them were short. Everyone was issued an infraction for possession of short black sea bass and exceeding the daily creel limit. The fish were seized and donated to A Place Called Hope.
On September 20th, 2020 two Encon Officers responded to a report of an individual keeping blackfish. Blackfish season is closed at this time. Upon walking up to the individual, the officers observed him throw a blackfish into the water. A second blackfish was located on shore, where the fish measured 12 inches. The individual was issued an infraction for possession during a closed season and undersized blackfish
On September 2nd, 2020 an Encon Officer observed an individual shell fishing in a closed area of Gulf Pond, Long Island Sound in Milford. Gulf Pond is closed to recreational shell fishing. The individual possessed two five gallon buckets containing oysters. The individual was issued an infraction for shell fishing in a closed area and the oysters were returned to the water.
On September 19th, 2020 an Encon Officer was again patrolling Gulf Pond in Milford and observed two individuals illegally shell fishing in the posted closed area. Both were issued infractions for the violation. Each had a 5 gallon bucket full of clams.
On September 6th, 2020 an Encon Officer was advised by USCG of a PWC that was operating recklessly around a vessel they were trying to escort into the CT River. The PWC was circling the escorted vessel and jumping the wake of said vessel within 2-3 feet of it. The PWC operator was escorted to Marine District Headquarters and interviewed by Encon. The PWC operator admitted to having an argument with the vessel operator and personally knew him. The PWC operator also admitted to operating his PWC recklessly and jumping the vessels wake within 2-3 of it. The Encon Officer issued the PWC operator an infraction for Reckless boating 2nd Degree and Violating Boating Safety Regulations, Jumping the wake of another vessel within 100 feet.
On September 13th and 27th, 2020 Encon Police worked along with USCG and surrounding municipal agencies to provide peace and order during a planned Trump Parade of over 1000 vessels on the Mystic River and the CT River. In each of these events there was one minor boating accident. Neither accident had any injuries and all of the damage was minor in nature.
Eastern District Highlights September 2020
Park & Forest Enforcement
On September 3rd, 2020 Encon responded to Millers Pond on a report of a physical domestic dispute between two individuals. After several interviews, a suspect was identified and a warrant for that individual’s arrest was eventually applied for. With this arrest warrant on file, Encon police eventually tracked down the subject and took him into custody to answer for the charges against him.
On September 22nd, 2020 Officers from Encon responded to Bolton Notch on a report of lost hikers in the woods. Upon their arrival, they were able to find the lost hikers and assist them with getting out of the woods.
On September 25th, 2020 Officers from Encon responded to the Nipmuck State Forest on a report of a fallen hiker. Initial reports indicated that a hiker fell to the ground and had sustained significant injuries as a result of the fall. Encon worked with Fire and EMS staff to locate and extract the injured individual so they could receive medical attention.
On September 26th, 2020 Encon officers received information regarding an illegal keg party that was to take place at Hodge’s Pond in Voluntown, CT. Staff took proactive measures and increased the patrol visibility in this area that deterred the participating members of this event from showing up. Their actions protected a very fragile area where if this had not been checked, could have led to significant damage to state property.
On September 28th, 2020 Officer from Encon, who were working on information regarding the poaching of deer, identified a hunter in a wooded area who was hunting in a baited deer stand. This individual was cited for a variety of charges due to this incident.
On September 5th, members of the Boating Accident Reconstruction Unit assisted the western district in the reconstruction of a Jet Ski accident that took place on the Connecticut River.
On September 27th, 2020 Encon officers from the Eastern District assisted with other law enforcement partners with the Trump Parade that took place on the Connecticut River. In addition to the waterway obligation, officers also assisted with crowd control at and near Eagle Landing.
On September 6th, 2020 Encon police responded to Stafford, CT on a report of a sick moose. Based off the observations of the animal, it appeared to be suffering from some terminal ailment. In conjunction with wildlife, it was determined that the animal needed to be put down. The animal was dispatched and turned over to the wildlife division so that a necropsy could be performed.