Saturday, June 25, 2022

FWC-Collier County Law Enforcement 



Officers Arbogast, Lugg, and Plussa responded to a boating accident that involved multiple personal watercraft (PWC) from a local tour group out of Marco Island. The accident occurred in a remote portion of the Ten Thousand Islands Wildlife Refuge. Officers quickly made their way to the accident scene along with the Collier County Sheriff’s Marine and Emergency Medical Service’s Marine Units. The two PWC collisions involved all four occupants being ejected into the water. One occupant suffered a back injury, but was in stable condition and flown by medical helicopter to a Fort Myers hospital. Officer Rogers, from Lee County, responded to the hospital locally to obtain a statement from the injured party. Officer Arbogast conducted the boating accident investigation and issued a citation to the operator of the striking PWC for a navigation rule violation of failing to maintain a proper lookout, and three warnings for navigation rule violations relating to safe speed, taking action to avoid a collision and careless operation of a vessel. Officer Arbogast issued the livery operator and tour guide a citation for not possessing the required boating safety education credentials mandated for PWC rental operators. The rest of the parties returned to shore without further incident.

Lieutenant Bulger attended the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s Kids Love Fishing event. This yearly event invites families from Collier County to spend the day learning about fishing and conservation.

Officer Barringer attended the annual Rookery Bay shoreline bird meeting, which is an opportunity for partners such as FWC biologists, FWC law enforcement, National Audubon Society, Rookery Bay staff, and Team OCEAN to meet and share information about shorebird and seabird nesting data in Collier County. The meeting was set up to learn more about statewide bird data and provide an opportunity to discuss important management issues that arose during the 2016 – 2017 nesting season. The meeting was a huge success with more than 10 individuals from around the State.

Officer Araujo spent an afternoon engaging with youth hunters during a youth spring turkey hunt at Pepper Ranch. Pepper Ranch is owned by the county and provides unique opportunities for Collier County youths to spend a weekend out in the woods and go on guided hunts. Youth hunts at Pepper Ranch include turkey, hog, and deer hunts. One young man harvested his first gobbler and was extremely excited. Officer Araujo spoke with the kids about what it’s like to be an FWC officer and answered questions about conservation.


Officer Plussa was travelling on I-75 when he saw a vehicle crashed into a ditch and a male subject laying outside of the vehicle. He exited his patrol truck and found the subject with a severe neck injury due to the accident. Officer Plussa stabilized the subject’s neck and back until Emergency Medical Services arrived to transport the subject to the nearest hospital. The case was turned over to Florida Highway Patrol.


Officer Johnson participated in an enforcement effort with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and Customs and Border Patrol focusing on commercial stone crab, kingfish, as well as detecting stolen vessels, refuel vessels and human smuggling. Several vessels were encountered and pertinent information was obtained for Customs and Border Patrol.

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