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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report
Patrol, Protect, Preserve
July 19, 2019 through July 25, 2019
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.
Officers Wicker and Coker were on water patrol in St. Andrews Bay when they received a call from United State Coast Guard (USCG) Panama City asking for assistance with a possible Boating Under the Influence (BUI). The officers arrived just a few minutes after they received the call. Officer Wicker began Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s) on the operator who completed the horizontal gaze nystagmus but refused to complete any other tasks. The operator was placed under arrest for BUI and transported to the Panama City Beach Field Office for a breath sample. The operator was booked into the Bay County Jail for BUI and refusing to supply breath, blood or urine sample.
Officers Wicker, N. Basford and Captain Clements were on water patrol in St. Andrews Bay when they saw a vessel with several occupants on board. The officers stopped the vessel to conduct a boating safety inspection. The operator was showing several signs of impairment and SFST’s were conducted. The operator of the vessel was arrested on suspicion of BUI and transported to the Panama City Beach Field Office for a breath sample. He was booked into the Bay County Jail for BUI and refusal to provide a breath, blood or urine sample.
Officers T. Basford, N. Basford and Little were on water patrol in Grand Lagoon when they saw a pontoon vessel with two people on board. The officers conducted a vessel stop to conduct a boating safety inspection. During the inspection, the operator showed signs of impairment and SFST’s were conducted. The operator was arrested for suspicion of BUI and transported to the Panama City Beach Field Office to provide a breath sample. The operator was transported to the Bay County Jail and booked for BUI and refusal to provide a breath, blood or urine sample.
Officer T. Basford was on patrol in St. Andrews State Park when he received a call from USCG Panama City asking for assistance with a possible BUI. USCG brought the vessel and operator to the St. Andrews State Park Boat Ramp where Officer Basford was waiting. The vessel operator displayed indicators of impairment and SFST’s were conducted. The operator was arrested for suspicion of BUI and transported to the Panama City Beach Field Office for a breath sample. Once at the office the operator provided breath samples of .126 blood alcohol content and .122 blood alcohol content. The operator was booked into the Bay County Jail for BUI.
Officer Rice was conducting boating safety and resource inspections of vessels at St. Andrews State Park boat ramp. During an inspection of one vessel he found a couple undersize gray triggerfish. Two individuals took responsibility for the fish which measured 11 inches and 14 inches. The season for gray triggerfish is closed at this time. Officer Rice issued the two individuals each a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closure and warnings for possession of undersized gray triggerfish.
Officer Pettey received information that an individual posted a video on social media of him posing with six cobia on his vessel. The limit for cobia is two per vessel. Officer Pettey identified the subject and met and interviewed him. The subject admitted to possessing the six cobia on his vessel. Two of the cobia were also obviously undersized. Officer Pettey obtained a warrant on the individual for the two violations.
Officer Specialist Clark checked an individual selling mullet along the road side in Pensacola. The individual did not possess the license and was cited for the violation.
Officers Pifer, Clark, and Hahr were on water patrol in the area of Crab Island when they saw a pontoon vessel operating in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. While attempting to stop the vessel, the officers noticed the operator was slow to bring the vessel off plane, even after utilizing the patrol vessel’s emergency lights and siren. During the stop the operator displayed signs of impairment and standardized field sobriety tasks were conducted. The operator was arrested for BUI, refused to provide a breath sample and was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.
Officers Pifer, Hahr, and Clark were on water patrol in the area of Crab Island when they saw a personal watercraft (PWC) operating in a reckless manner. The PWC was operating in violation of the idle speed-no wake zone towards a group of anchored vessels with individuals on board and wading in the water. As the PWC approached the vessels and individuals in the water, it turned at the last possible moment to avoid a collision causing the vessel’s wake to splash the individuals in the water. A vessel stop was initiated to address the violation and the operator was issued a criminal citation for reckless operation of a PWC.
Officers Pifer and Corbin were conducting saltwater fisheries inspections at the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. There was a complaint of multiple individuals fishing from the pier harvesting undersized spanish mackerel. Four individuals were found to have harvested multiple undersized spanish mackerel. Citations were issued for the violations.
Officer Pifer saw a vehicle driving in a circular pattern on the Eglin Air Force Base beach property on Okaloosa Island, north of Highway 98, in a manner which was damaging the public lands. Officer Pifer stopped his vehicle next to a U.S. Air Force Installation Property sign which clearly states, “Driving on the beach is strictly prohibited.” The sign was approximately 25 yards from the suspect vehicle. The driver was issued a criminal citation for damage to public lands by a motor vehicle.
Officer Bradshaw inspected a camp site on Point Washington Wildlife Management Area (WMA) after learning a subject had left a large amount of trash when he departed the site. Division of Forestry personnel had spoken to the subject about cleaning up the trash prior to leaving but no trash was removed. The subject was identified and will be issued a criminal summons for littering in excess of 15 pounds.