Game Warden Field Notes
AUSTIN April 23, 2018 ⎯ The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
Facebook Advertising Works
On April 3, game wardens received an Operation Game Thief crime stoppers call alleging an individual was trying to sell an alligator on Facebook. Wardens quickly determined the man was actually looking to sell the rifle pictured in his post, not the alligator, which still begged the question “Where did he get the gator?” Wardens continued the investigation and learned the individual harvested the alligator illegally in San Jacinto County. During an interview on April 13, wardens gained a full confession from the individual. Appropriate charges and restitution were filed.
The Truck Didn’t Survive
On March 28, a Rockwall County game warden received a call for assistance from the Rockwall Fire Department. They requested help rescuing a victim trapped in his truck, which was swept off a county road by high water. The Game Wardens Search and Rescue team responded and the victim was successfully retrieved from his vehicle unharmed; however, the truck did not survive. A warning citation was issued for failure to observe the road closed sign due to high water.
Forged Bill of Sale, Priceless
Game wardens in Grimes and Robertson counties followed up on a tip that an individual had forged signatures on a boat title and bill of sale. After interviewing the subject who submitted the documents, it was discovered that he did submit a fake bill of sale written by a friend and changed the amount of which he paid for the boat. Charges of tampering with government documents with intent to defraud or harm (2nd degree felony) and forgery (3rd degree felony) are pending.
A Series of Poor Choices
At about 11 p.m. on April 7, an Uvalde County game warden was patrolling near Utopia when he noticed a vehicle driving slowly in a church parking lot outside of town. Considering the hour and location, the warden initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle left the scene at a high rate of speed, and the warden pursued for a short distance. The vehicle came to a sudden stop after making a sharp turn which caused the bead on the tire to break and the rim to embed into the pavement. The rear of the vehicle spun around 180 degrees, breaking the bead on one of the back tires, causing it to deflate also. The warden made contact with the 16-year-old driver and 14-year-old passenger. The juvenile driver said he fled because he had beer in the truck. Charges are pending against the driver.
April Fools, You’re Still Busted!
On April 1, a Bastrop County game warden was on patrol at Lake Bastrop, when he saw an LCRA ranger talking to a group of men regarding open container violations, and went to assist. The warden recognized a subject who had a criminal trespassing warning in the park, and made contact. The subject claimed he did not have an identification card on him, and gave a false name and date of birth. Since the subject had mentioned earlier that he had just got out of jail that day, the warden called Bastrop County dispatch and found out the subject’s true name and date of birth. The ranger called his dispatch to confirm the trespassing warning. Once confirmed, the subject was arrested and taken back to jail for criminal trespassing and for giving false information.
Can’t Keep the Bird
A McLennan County game warden responded to a call about a dead bald eagle in the road, but by the time he arrived on scene the bird was gone. After speaking with some nearby neighbors, the warden learned an individual had picked up the eagle and taken it. The warden interviewed the subject, who stated he took it to a friend’s house and left it on the seat of his riding lawnmower. The warden recovered the eagle carcass at the second location. Citations were issued to the individual for illegally possessing and transporting a bald eagle. The case is pending.
Shooting from the Passing Lane
On April 15, a Dallam/Hartley County game warden received a call about someone in a vehicle shooting at pheasants from a county road. With assistance from Dallam County Sheriff’s Office and a DPS trooper, the vehicle was stopped and the driver and his 13-year-old son admitted to hunting and shooting at a pheasant from the road. Citations for hunting during a closed season, hunting from a public roadway, discharging a firearm from a public roadway and not having hunter’s education certification were filed.