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Natural Resources Police Help Rescue Distressed Boater off Kent Point

Photo of Natural Resources Police boatIn high winds and rough seas, Maryland Natural Resources Police officers and local first responders performed a dramatic rescue of a boater in medical distress Thursday in the Chesapeake Bay.

An emergency call by a marine towing company at about 6 p.m. triggered an all-out response to assist a 63-year-old Stevensville man aboard a sailboat off Kent Point, the southern tip of Kent Island. The man was disoriented and possibly in diabetic shock, and his boat was at the mercy of deteriorating conditions.

Three officers boarded a 19-foot Boston Whaler patrol at Kent Narrows and headed south, battling 25 mph winds and 4-foot waves. They were met on the scene by Fireboat 9 of the United Communities Volunteer Fire Department manned by three emergency medical technicians and a paramedic.

As the vessel from TowBoatUS steadied the sailboat, the officers maneuvered their boat alongside the 31-foot vessel to assess the condition of Gary Joseph Griffies, who was sitting at the stern, steering. The jib was partially unfurled and the boat was swinging side-to-side.

Griffies, who was wearing a lifejacket, indicated he was alone and fine. TowBoatUS was able to pull the sailboat closer to shore, where two officers boarded. Griffies was unable to assist the officers, but gave them permission to cut the lines on the sail and lower it.

Officers then transferred Griffies onto the patrol boat and shuttled him to the fireboat and the waiting medical team. The ailing skipper was taken to Cove Creek Marina, where an ambulance waited. Griffies, who ate a snack bar and felt better, refused any further medical treatment.

At the request of the TowBoatUS operator, the two officers boarded the sailboat again to steer the sailboat for the hourlong way trip to Lippincott Marine in the Kent Narrows.

Five men were charged Saturday morning with illegal hunting on a Queen Anne’s County farm.

An officer checking goose hunters in a ground blind on Fairview Farm off Spaniard Neck Road in Centreville noticed a cleared area and scattered corn in front of the blind.

Richard Mark Prossner, 42, James Patteson Ellerson, 64, both of Annapolis, John Bentley Porter Jr., 48, William Calvin Gray III, 48, both of Centreville, and Kristofer Michael Cristallo, 44, of Severna Park, all were charged with hunting waterfowl over a baited area. In addition, Gray was charged with failing to obtain a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp.

The men are scheduled to appear in Queen Anne’s County District Court Feb. 1. Each charge carries a maximum fine of $1,500.

A felon who fled from an officer when stopped for illegal hunting in Harford County last week, triggering a search by multiple police agencies, was charged with criminal and natural resources crimes.

An officer investigating complaints of illegal hunting off Grier Nursery Road in Street Nov. 14 stopped Colin James Paruszewski, 23, as he returned home on an all-terrain vehicle containing two dead deer and a rifle.

As the officer was checking on Paruszewski’s wanted status, the suspect ran away, leaving his rifle and vehicle behind. A team that included a Maryland State Police helicopter, several police tracking dogs and personnel from Natural Resources Police, State Police and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office searched the area, but could not find him. Paruszewski was arrested the next day.

In 2014, Paruszewski was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to a burglary charge. Last year, he was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree burglary. He entered a substance abuse program, was discharged last September and was still on probation when he was arrested last week.

Paruszewski was charged with possessing a rifle and ammunition after being convicted of a felony, resisting arrest, failing to obey a police officer, having a loaded weapon in a vehicle, using a rifle to hunt in a shotgun-only county, possessing deer in a closed season, three counts of failing to field tag deer and complete the harvest record, failing to obtain a hunting license, hunting private lands without written permission and failing to wear fluorescent orange.

A preliminary hearing on the criminal charges is scheduled for Dec. 14 in Harford County District Court. Violation of probation hearings are scheduled for Dec. 19 and Jan. 22 in Harford County Circuit Court. A trial on the natural resources violations is set for Jan. 17.

A Carroll County felon was arrested and charged with six counts of illegal possession of firearms after complaints that he was hunting with a high-powered rifle from a moped.

Dispatchers received a call on the morning of Nov. 12 that Billy Joe Grubbs, 49, of Manchester, was armed and riding a red moped on Fridinger Mill Road.

Natural Resources Police and deputies with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office went to his home and saw multiple firearms in one room. Grubbs acknowledged hunting and knowing that he was prohibited from having firearms because of his second-degree assault conviction.

Officers charged him with the firearms and ammunition violations and also cited him for shooting from a road and hunting on private land without written permission. They seized the six guns, three of which were loaded.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 12 at Carroll County District Court.

A Prince George’s County man was charged with illegally fishing striped bass by officers conducting surveillance at the Kent Narrows drawbridge.

An officer saw three people fishing beneath the bridge at about 10 p.m. Friday. They were catching undersized striped bass, walking up the bulkhead and placing the fish in the tall grass on the hillside. The officer found six fish in a dark blue backpack covered in the tall grass.

When questioned about the fish, Carlos A. Benitez Monterrosa, 35, of Fort Washington, acknowledged the fish were his.

Monterrosa is scheduled to appear in Queen Anne’s County District Court Jan. 18. If found guilty of the violation, he could be fined as much as $1,000.