MILTON — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission filed these cases between Nov. 17 and 30 in Santa Rosa County:From a considerable distance, Officer Ramos observed a vehicle operating oddly in a remote neighborhood after midnight. When the vehicle stopped moving for a while, Officer Ramos drove closer and discovered that its hazard lights were now flashing due to a crash that had just occurred. Dispatch was informed that the truck had jumped a deep ditch and then ran head on into a large tree. The vehicle’s airbags had deployed and the driver had been knocked into the rear cab of his pickup with life-threatening injuries. Fire Rescue and EMS personnel were notified and arrived to remove the driver. The driver was transported to a local hospital. The crash investigation was turned over to Florida Highway Patrol to determine the cause.
Officer J. Rockwell was in Blackwater Wildlife Management Area when he noticed a small boat on the side of the road. Rockwell ran the registration to identify the owner and, later that afternoon, determined the vessel was stolen out of Okaloosa County. Rockwell contacted the owner and returned the vessel. While conducting surveillance on a local fishing pier, Officer Ramos observed a man and woman emerge from under the pier carrying fishing poles and equipment. They went to a vehicle and loaded all the gear into the car. Then, the man returned under the bridge and brought up a cooler. Ramos approached the pair and asked if they had caught any fish. They replied, "No." After checking fishing licenses and receiving consent to search the cooler, Ramos discovered an undersized spotted seatrout, measuring 11 inches, hidden under ice. The man said he caught the fish and didn’t check its size. A database search revealed the man had two previous citations for similar offenses. The fish was seized and a notice-to-appear citation was issued. While off duty, Officer Lugg received a report of a potential redfish violation occurring at the East River boat launch in Navarre. Once at work, Lugg traveled to the boat launch to follow up with information that he had received. The tip stated that a couple fishing at the boat launch were keeping undersized red drum and placing them in a white cooler. The individuals were located and a fisheries inspection was conducted. The couple stated that they were not keeping any fish and had not caught any fish to keep. There were no coolers around where the individuals were fishing and the individuals were adamant that they had not kept any fish. After a brief interview, their vehicle was located and their cooler was inspected. Lugg discovered an undersized red drum measuring 9½ inches. A notice-to-appear citation was issued for the violation. While on land patrol in the Yellow River WMA, Officer Lugg watched a suspicious vehicle turn its headlights off while traveling through an intersection. The vehicle also failed to stop at a stop sign as it left the area in a hurry. During a stop of the vehicle, blood was observed in the back of the truck. After a brief interview, the operator admitted to shooting an undersized deer the day before and disposing of the carcass in the woods. Lugg located the carcass of a spotted fawn. The subject was issued a notice-to-appear citation for the violation.