Friday, July 21, 2017

The Man on the River

Sand Cave
Ranger in Sand Cave
     Working as a Protection Park Ranger consists of many fun times. Spending time out of the office and patrolling makes for a variety of visitor contacts. The people that you will find yourself working with share similar interests and motivations as yourself. You have a sense of fulfilment knowing that you are fostering education, safety, and resource protection for the enjoyment of future visitors. All this is even more prevalent when the place you work has visitation from all over the world.

     A career in emergency services requires you to be prepared for anything at any time. Each day can hold something different or it could fall into a usual routine. One real challenge is to be prepared. Some agency refreshers and trainings mandate you to perform certain job essentials at least twice a year, but this is the minimum. The requirement is intended to keep Rangers' skills sharp. However, much more practice is required to achieve that.

     There have been a number of examples that have exemplified the importance of being prepared for law enforcement and emergency service situations alike. Potential for a bad situation unfolded last week. There was a man and 90 pound dog floating the river in a canoe. One of our Rangers contacted them a day before the incident and came back explaining, the dog would eat him if it could. The following day two Rangers contacted the same man. He stated, he’d been camping on the river with his dog in the area of the Green River Ferry. One Ranger informed him that it was a violation to camp within the area adjacent to the ferry and that he would need to see his identification. The man then explained he didn’t have any identification on him and no backcountry camping permit. He followed up by giving the contacting officers a name and birthdate that did not register with dispatch. A third ranger responded to the contact, who had been the one who contacted this man and the dog the day before. He quickly accepted the duty of going to a position with better cellular and radio reception in order to nail down the facts. Afterward, dispatch contacted the rangers with sensitive information for the individual’s physical description. The team of officers and dispatchers were still not able to confirm an identity of the suspect at the time. At which point the two Rangers contacting the suspect Terry Frisked him and found a knife he stated he had in his pocket and another knife that was not disclosed until he knew it would be discovered. The latter was mounted in a duct tape sheath in the center of his back (see pictures). The two Rangers responding handcuffed the man and placing him in the back of their vehicle in order to go to an area with better reception, in order to figure out a way to identify the man. The third Ranger came to the scene to kennel the dog. He spent some time with the animal and had to call on two maintenance employees to help kennel it without being bitten. The two Rangers taking care of the unidentified man could not attain an identity, so they decided to bring him into the jail to be fingerprinted. On the way to the jail, he asked the rangers where he was being transported. When they answered, he told them that they might as well bring him to another county's jail and gave his identity. The man turned out to be wanted for wanton endangerment of a police officer and attempted murder by lighting someone on fire after dousing them with gasoline. During transport he also stated that he'd gotten the dog from a drug dealer after telling him, "I’m taking your dog or I'll take your life." This man had been camping in park boundary for five days.

Gun Qualifications
Marijuana Processing

      Considering the person’s history, things could have gone very differently during the contact. The situation also very easily puts aside the belief that some visitors may have pertaining to nothing bad can happen in parks. This person was camping the river for five days with a dog that would try to eat another person, if given the chance. If the dog was removed from the equation, the man certainly had a criminal resume that probably should not allow him anywhere in public.

Concealed Weapon Found on Man with Warrant
Weapon was Worn Under a Shirt

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