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DNR conservation officers assist in successful Manistee County manhunt

Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers were instrumental in a multiagency manhunt that led to the arrest of a suspect in Manistee County.

The incident began Friday, Feb. 23, at about 2:45 p.m. when Manistee County Sheriff’s Office deputies conducted a traffic stop near Voelm and Steinberg roads in Norman Township. The deputies were attempting to arrest a suspect wanted on an outstanding warrant.

During the encounter the suspect resisted arrest, and his father, who arrived at the scene in another vehicle, assaulted a deputy with a shovel. The father was arrested at the scene. The suspect fled into a wooded area after threatening great bodily harm to any law enforcement officer who would apprehend him.

A perimeter was established as the deputies tracked the suspect. Responding to assist the deputies were five DNR conservation officers, the K-9 units of the Michigan State Police and the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Coast Guard, which provided air surveillance.

After more than three hours and about seven miles of tracking, the subject was located in a flooded cedar swamp and taken into custody by DNR Conservation Officer Ryan Andrews and Mason County K-9 officer Ken Baum. The subject refused to comply with officers and was forcibly taken into custody. A search revealed that the suspect was in possession of a large hunting knife. The subject continued to resist and refused to walk out of the swamp, requiring other officers to proceed on foot to the area and assist in bringing the subject to a waiting ambulance, where he was treated for hypothermia before being lodged in the Manistee County Jail.

“This is a great example of outstanding cooperation between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies,” said Lt. John Jurcich, district supervisor for the DNR Law Enforcement Division. “Everyone involved braved dangerous conditions to apprehend the subject and ensure the safety of area families. DNR conservation officers undergo rigorous training to prepare for these types of incidents and I commend our fine officers for their courage and professionalism.”

DNR officers will work with the Manistee County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to seek charges for resisting and obstructing officers and for carrying a concealed weapon. Additional charges may be sought by the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office.

Manistee County officials have not released the names of the subjects.

Michigan conservation officers are elite, highly trained professionals who serve in every corner of the state. They are fully commissioned peace officers with authority to enforce the state’s criminal laws. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficer.