Game Warden Field Notes

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) law enforcement reports.  Images of individual field notes are available upon request from the TPWD press office.

Does Your Mother Know That You’re Out?

Tom Green County Game Wardens patrolled a city street late at night, when a white vehicle sped by in a 40-mph zone. The warden sped up to catch the vehicle and finally paced him at 60-mph. The warden attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver evaded. Once pursued, the suspect drove down a residential alley and crashed into a garage. The suspect abandoned their vehicle and fled on foot. No one on scene was injured. Multiple agencies responded to assist with the crash and search for the suspect. During the investigation, wardens could hear the suspect’s cell phone ring over and over. Once in the vehicle, they found the cell phone connected via Bluetooth. The phone continued to ring as they gathered evidence. Eventually, wardens along with their city police counterparts answered the phone. The caller identified herself as the suspect’s mother. Believing the officers were buddies of her adult child and playing a joke on her, she identified the suspect and demanded to speak with them. Wardens explained the situation and discovered that over the years, the suspect accumulated multiple felony warrants. Charges pending.

Don’t Fence Me In

Local ranch managers notified local Polk County Game Wardens that an individual, well known in the area for stirring up trouble, trespassed on their property multiple times in the past few months. The landowner turned over footage from multiple game cameras showing the suspect riding through the property on a homemade ATV. Eventually, the ranch managers caught him in the act and tried to hold him at gunpoint. They were unsuccessful and the suspect fled into the woods, leaving behind his homemade ATV. Concerned the trespasser was utilizing the unusual route to deal drugs in a neighboring subdivision, one of the wardens drove to the suspect’s home. Once there, he spotted the suspect outside with two other males. The warden requested backup from a county deputy since the suspect had a track record of fleeing law enforcement. When the deputy arrived, the suspect was working on a vehicle in the yard. Together, they questioned the suspect, who stated he was unaware that he had been trespassing. The warden informed the suspect that he was trespassing because he crossed a fence as well as other barriers into a property that did not belong to him. The suspect was then arrested without incident and booked into the county jail. Case pending.

What Happens in Vegas …

Patrolling for wildlife violations, Harris County Game Wardens observed a flashlight beam in the woods and a truck operating erratically on an adjacent private easement road. The wardens stopped the vehicle and contacted the driver. Wearing full camouflage, the driver exited the vehicle immediately with his hands up.  What appeared to be a potential road hunting case quickly changed when the driver and their partner stated that they lived nearby and were investigating a prowler after an alert from their farm dogs. The wardens confirmed their house was located just 200 yards away from where the couple stopped. While interviewing the driver, a loaded revolver was located on the center console.  A serial number check revealed that the pistol was stolen during a 2006 burglary in Las Vegas. The driver stated he couldn’t remember if he was given the pistol or purchased it but denied any knowledge that it was stolen. With no independent charges to file or evidence that the driver was involved or had knowledge of the theft, the couple were released from the scene and the pistol was seized for return to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

When Doves Cry

While patrolling late at night, a Bastrop County Game Warden heard multiple shots from a nearby property.  As he arrived, a truck exited the property, and he initiated a traffic stop. He immediately recognized the driver as a convicted felon he had previously arrested twice. The driver admitted to multiple guns in the truck and claimed they belonged to the passenger. However, the passenger could not answer basic questions on the firearms like how many or what kind they were. The warden also recovered a fish shocker in the backseat and two freshly killed mourning doves in the bed of the truck. The individuals claimed the doves had somehow fallen out of a tree and into the truck. Altogether, the warden seized seven firearms, one shocking device and two mourning doves. Dispatch confirmed one of the firearms was stolen. The male subject was arrested for unlawful possession of firearms by a felon and possessing a shocker within a half-mile from public water. The female passenger was arrested on 11 outstanding warrants.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

After assisting with a manhunt, a Falls County Game Warden was returning home when another vehicle changed lanes abruptly, almost striking his patrol vehicle. The warden initiated his emergency lights for a traffic stop but it took almost a mile for the driver to pull over to the shoulder. Upon contact, he noticed the driver was under the influence. During the standard field sobriety test, the driver asked several times if he could just be taken home or if someone could pick him up. The warden explained that the test revealed an absolute level of intoxication (three times the legal limit) and he was going to be arrested for driving while intoxicated. The driver became very emotional and sat down on the shoulder, refusing to be placed in the patrol vehicle. With the assistance of a deputy, the warden spoke with the driver for a few minutes and the driver finally agreed to get in the deputy’s patrol vehicle. Once at the jail, staff immediately recognized the driver. Just the week before, the driver had been arrested and released for another driving while intoxicated charge.