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TPWD News Release — June 6, 2005

TPWD Game Warden Field Notes

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

Don’t Mess With Boat Titling — A Polk County Game Warden launched an investigation involving a missing boat. Evidence gathered showed a Livingston man forged boat transfer forms and a boat title. A warrant was served arresting the man for tampering with government record, (3rd degree felony). The boat was seized and impounded.

“The New Boat Blues” — A Cass County Game Warden was launching his boat on Wright Patman when he was told about a boat sinking just off of Bells Island. Three people and the new boat were recovered. Apparently the operators of the boat were first-time boat owners and had put the plug in the live well hole instead of the bilge hole, which caused the boat to sink.

Marked With Unlawfulness — A Cooke County Game Warden issued citations for possession of an alligator without an alligator permit and possession of an endangered species (timber rattlesnake). The animals were at a tattoo parlor in Gainesville. About 30 different species of poisonous snakes and pythons were also at the establishment. Cases are pending.

“I’m Not Going To Be Honest About Lying to You” — A Hunt County Game Warden was checking a fisherman when he noticed the fisherman getting nervous. He asked the fishermen how many fish he had caught. The man replied, “I'm going to be quite honest with you; I am two over the limit.” A quick count of the fish showed he was 23 over the limit and several were undersize. Cases are pending.

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide — A Gonzales County Game Warden arrested someone on felony warrants. The subject had been in hiding from the warden since a poaching incident last hunting season. Warrants from Lavaca County were also served at the time of the arrest. Working with an informant, the warden was able to learn that the subject was coming to visit his mother for Mother’s Day. The warden, along with other county officers surrounded the residence where the subject was staying. He tried to escape arrest by climbing out a back window but saw officers and went back into the house. He eventually came out and was taken to jail. The Attorney General’s office also wanted the man for more than $8,000 in back child support. The warden said he told the subject that he needed to quit messing with outlaw deer hunting. He agreed, then laughed and said, “You know I can sell drugs, steal, rob, and shoot people, but I keep getting caught by the game wardens.”

Diverse Duties of a Warden — A Victoria County Game Warden assisted the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office in rounding up over 50 illegal aliens who fled from officers during a traffic stop of four vehicles. A majority of the individuals fleeing officers were near a rural elementary school causing a lockdown. Officers resumed the next day in locating more illegal aliens from another stop in which subjects fled.

Not Too Sharp — A Mitchell County Game Warden was traveling Interstate 20 when he observed a vehicle driving erratically. The vehicle crossed several lanes of the interstate and nearly struck some parked vehicles. After stopping the vehicle, the warden thought he was going to have to break the window to get the intoxicated man out of the vehicle. He was so disoriented that he couldn’t find the door handle. Someone must have taken his keys because a steak knife was inserted into the ignition to start the car. After refusing all tests, the subject was transported to jail.

Not Using His Head — Guadalupe County Game Warden filed on an individual on Lake McQueeny for reckless operation of a motorboat. The individual was operating one of the old style PWC’s while standing on his head.

Keeps Running into and OVER Game Wardens — Bowie County Game Wardens filed several cases, three of which were BWIs. First subject blew a .103 and a .101, the second subject — the same person who ran Warden Hervey over with a four-wheeler two years ago — blew a .140 and .140. The third subject, who claimed to have been credited with the first BWI ever written on Lake Wright Patman back in 1994, blew a .193 and a .180. The third subject is now also known as the first repeat BWI offender on the lake. Cases are pending.

Cheaters Never Win — Smith County Game Warden finally received disposition on a violator who cheated in a Christian Bass Anglers tournament on Lake Tyler last summer. The violator caught five largemouth bass from an exclusive private lake in Palestine. He kept them alive in an aerated live well system at his residence. The night before the tournament, he planted the five fish in a basket in the lake. He won the tournament with a 31-pound stringer and the big bass pot. The nearest contestant was 15 pounds away from the leader. The violator was convicted of tournament fraud and releasing fish from private waters into public waters. He received a $400 fine with three years probation, is unable to fish in public waters while on probation, forfeited his winnings, received 50 hours of community service, and must attend a Life Skills class.

Recklessness — A Brown County Game Warden investigated a boating accident where the operator of a motorboat was turning in large circles at half-throttle, and his friend on a PWC was jumping his wake. The PWC hit a wave, throwing the passenger off and then striking the motorboat. The operator of the PWC was airlifted to Shannon Hospital in San Angelo for internal bleeding and a cracked pelvis.

Tragedy — Game Wardens on Lake Bob Sandlin on a boating accident. A 62-year-old female and her 67-year-old husband were returning from fishing on their pontoon boat with a 90-horse power outboard motor. The female leaned over the side of the moving boat and noticed that the minnow bucket was being drug in the water. The husband attempted to stop the boat quickly, and the female fell off the bow of the pontoon. The husband panicked and accelerated forward. The prop of the motor lacerated her left thigh, abdomen, and cut off the female’s leg just below the kneecap. The female was airlifted to Tyler and remains in critical condition.

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