Game Warden Stories: Trail Cam Thief, Mullet Runner, Fence Crosser
July 24, 2017
There's no doubt the Texas Game Wardens, as well as any wildlife officers in any state, face a myriad of incidents when in the field — from the serious to the ridiculous.
Regularly, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department posts "Game Warden Notes," an online roundup of recent law enforcement stories compiled directly from reports in the field.
Here are some of those stories (republished with permission).
From the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Game Warden Field Notes, July 14
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Running from the Law
Game wardens were checking bank fishermen in Delta County when they encountered a subject whom they had arrested recently on drug possession and weapons charges. During a pat down search of the subject, drug paraphernalia was found in his pants pocket. When the wardens attempted to arrest the subject, he violently resisted and assaulted both wardens. The wardens were able to subdue the suspect and take him into custody. However, while waiting for a transport unit from the Greenville Police Department to arrive, the subject fled on foot while handcuffed. Wardens gave chase and captured the subject, who was attempting to hide near a fence. Multiple felony charges were filed against the subject.
Caught on Camera Stealing Cameras
A Grimes County game warden responded to a call from a landowner stating he had captured video of an individual stealing game cameras and battery packs off his property. After reviewing the video evidence, the warden was able to link this case to an investigation earlier this year regarding the same individual. The suspect was found to be awaiting trial in the Brazos County Jail for burglary of a habitation. The warden made contact with the Brazos County district attorney and handed over all information regarding the suspect on this case. New charges of criminal trespassing and theft are currently pending.
A Matagorda County game warden was checking bank fisherman when he observed an individual throwing a cast net and placing mullet in a large ice chest. When the warden made contact with the individual, he admitted to not having a fishing license, and did not have any other identification. He also stated he was catching mullet to sell to bait camps for another person under their bait dealer's license. The warden could smell marijuana when he approached the individual, and when he asked about it, the subject took off running. The warden gave chase and observed the subject throw some kind of substance in the salt grass while running. He was able to catch the subject and place him into handcuffs. The subject admitted that he had a small amount of marijuana and he threw it while running away. A brief search along their back trail revealed a small clear plastic bag that contained marijuana residue. The subject told the warden that he was scared and did not want to go back to jail. He was just released from jail the day before, after being placed on probation for running from the police. The warden transported the subject to the Matagorda County Jail where he was charged with evading arrest/detention, tampering with physical evidence, and no fishing license.
A Downed Fence is Still a Fence
A Dimmit County game warden was patrolling for fishing enforcement when he spotted a pickup truck parked behind a cluster of trees, up against a fence, quite a distance from the river bridge. Upon closer inspection, several fishing related items were in the bed of the pickup. Figuring that the person, or persons, possibly jumped the fence next to the truck to fish further down river, the warden and an assisting county sheriff's deputy, initiated a search for the vehicle's owner. They made contact with a local man and his son who were returning from the river through the private property and led them back to the truck. When the man was informed that they were trespassing, the man stated, "I thought it was OK to go into the property because part of the fence was pushed down from the last flood." The man was issued a citation for trespassing. The case is pending.
Game Warden Stories publishes occasionally on Game & Fish. The accounts above are shared with permission.