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Division of Law Enforcement
June 2, 2017 through June 8, 2017
This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
Patrol, Protect, Preserve
Officers N. Basford and Wicker were on water patrol in Watson Bayou when they received a call from dispatch regarding a woman who was being threatened and held hostage on a sailboat near Shell Island. The complainant stated that she was contacted by a girlfriend of hers who told her that she was being threatened and held hostage by a male subject on a white sailboat. The officers started canvassing the area, checking white sailboats, and identifying the male subjects on board. It was later determined that they were on a blue sailboat. The officers located the sailboat near the city marina and conducted a vessel stop. The female on board stated that she was not being threatened and she was not being held hostage. She said that the male subject earlier had seen her smoke a cigarette and told her their relationship was over and that he does not date smokers. She stated that since it was not her boat that she felt like she had nowhere to go. The male subject stated to the officers that he had seen her smoking and that he told her he was done dating her. She asked to be taken back to where he keeps his boat, but because of the high winds, they were not able to return to where the boat is kept. He was having a friend meet them at the city marina to take the female subject to her home. Charges will be filed on the female subject with the state attorney’s office for filing a false police report to law enforcement authorities.
The FWC and partner agencies, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office marine unit and security personnel, Okaloosa County Jail Processing Center, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Escambia County Sheriff’s Office marine unit, Fort Walton Beach Police Department, Fort Walton Beach Fire and Rescue, Okaloosa Island Fire and Rescue, and Air Force Security Forces provided public safety for the 62nd Billy Bowlegs Pirates Festival. The joint efforts of law enforcement and first responders resulted in 199 vessel checks, 700 citizen contacts, 13 BUI arrests, 33 uniform boating citations issued, 35 written warnings issued, 9 fight interventions, 47 calls for service/public assistance, 10 medical responses/transports, 1 felony warrant arrest, 2 drug possessions, 6 intoxicated individuals secured at the drunk tent, 1 transported to the county jail, and
1 person transported to the emergency room. No boating accidents occurred. Ten patients were assessed and received medical treatment.
Officers Corbin and Pifer responded to a complaint of a burglarized vehicle at Henderson Beach State Park. There were two vehicles, both 2011 Chevrolet Tahoes. No forced entry into either vehicle was evident. Both vehicle owners had secured their personal items and locked their vehicle. It is believed that access was obtained with the use of a remote universal fob. An intel report was completed and forwarded statewide to all Florida state parks.
Officers Corbin and Wilkenson were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and state fisheries inspections in the Destin Pass and saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico. A fisheries inspection revealed an undersized scamp and red snapper fillets in a 4‑gallon plastic bag. The owner/operator was cited and issued notice to appear citations.
Officer Nichols did a follow-up with a homeowner who recently received a letter of notification regarding the intentional feeding of bears. Upon arrival, the officer noticed the homeowner not only failed to remove the existing bread and birdseed, but had placed additional feed down. Officer Nichols cited the homeowner with a written warning and will follow up with another compliance inspection.
Officer Corbin conducted a dockside commercial fisheries inspection/offload on a federal-documented vessel. The inspection revealed undersized red snapper and vermillion snapper. The inspection also revealed the crew harvested gray triggerfish during a closed season. After the offload was completed, Officer Corbin discovered five additional gray triggerfish that were shoved and hidden underneath a fish box. The operator admitted to hiding the fish from the officer. This commercial vessel/operator has been cited with four federal fisheries violations in the last seven months. A National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) law enforcement officer was dispatched and several federal charges are pending.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Officer Maltais was a guest speaker at Duke Field. He spoke to base personnel regarding boating safety, BUI enforcement, boating accident reporting, local waterways and state parks in preparation for the busy boating season and summer holidays.
Officers Maltais and Jarvis participated in an outreach event with a local news channel. The news channel interviewed the officers regarding boating safety. The officers took the media crew on vessel patrol to Santa Rosa Sound (Brooks Bridge) and Crab Island where they conducted vessel stops and addressed a diver’s complaint call. The footage was aired the following day.