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ATV escape unsuccessful after fishy brawl

Chance find and encounter along stream lead to altercation

News editor

When sheriff’s deputies Mike Ottensmeier and Bronson Shipman received a dispatch reporting possible theft and assault Thursday on Bluestem Rd. north of 160th Rd., at least they knew they weren’t going to be involved in a high-speed chase: the getaway vehicles were a pair of ATVs.

Radio transmissions indicated the man who reported the incident was following a red ATV, driven by a man in a black shirt and jeans, and a green ATV, driven by a man in overalls, headed south on Bluestem Rd. toward Cedar Point.

Ottensmeier advised the dispatcher to tell the man to meet him back at the scene of the alleged altercation.

When he arrived, he discovered what the spat was about.

“It was two gentlemen, retired age, that were arguing over a fish trap,” Ottensmeier said. “These traps were set up along some little creek on somebody’s property. Probably with the high rains and high water, the traps got washed away, and they were hanging in a tree.”

The ATV riders had come across the fish traps, which Ottensmeier said didn’t have any owner identification. The pair allegedly cut the traps loose and loaded them onto an ATV.

“The other gentleman showed up and said, ‘They’re my traps,’” Ottensmeier said. “The guy took them off the ATV, set them on the ground, and then a shoving match happened between the two.”

The fish trap owner was from Florence, Ottensmeier said. The ATV riders were from Cedar Point.

Ottensemeier said he contacted the riders and described them as “forthcoming” in their accounts of what happened. He declined to release the names of the individuals involved, pending review by the county attorney for possible charges.

Last modified May 31, 2017

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