A group of boaters confront Deputies who were conducting a boating while intoxicated investigation. On Saturday July 18th, Marion County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol Deputy Zahn made contact with the driver of a pontoon boat at the Detroit Lake Marina Annex at 6 PM. Deputy Zahn attempting to contact the driver based on a boating while intoxicated investigation. It was reported to Deputy Zahn the pontoon boat had almost run into two other boats where the operators of those boats had to push the pontoon boat away from hitting their boats. Marina staff who rented the boat had to jump on board and dock it for the subjects.
The driver was with a group of 3 other pontoon boats with approximately 35-40 subjects in the group. Another subject in the group began to argue with Deputy Zahn and interfere with his investigation while the driver began to walk away from the scene. Deputy Zahn was able to again contact the driver on the dock when 15-20 subjects began walking toward him.
Several of the second group began yelling and a couple subjects were throwing empty beer cans at Deputy Zahn. Deputy Zahn was able to call for cover and place the driver into handcuffs. Luckily Deputy Zahn had two Marion County Cadets with him and was able to let the cadets escort the driver off the dock while Deputy Zahn continued to attempt to keep the crowd back.
Deputy Zahn backed away from the crowd toward the shore as cover units arrived. 2 subjects in the group continued to advance toward Deputy Zahn and Officer Armenta being more aggressive and argumentative. Deputy Zahn and Officer Armenta took one of the aggressors into custody when he approached them yelling and swinging his arms while approaching the officers.
A third subject approached the two cadets who were escorting the driver up the shore toward a vehicle and was stopped by several off duty Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies who just arrived at the marina. The third subject was arrested at this point.
This was a very dangerous situation where Deputies were dealing with intoxicated subjects on a dock and were greatly outnumbered by the subjects in the group. The deputies showed a great deal of restraint and were able to resolve the situation with no injuries to anyone involved.
The driver of the boat is 22 year old Edward Ramirez from California and he has been charged with Boating under the influence of Intoxicants. Ramirez had a blood alcohol content one and a half times the legal limit. The other two subjects that were arrested are 23 year old Ivan Barajas and 26 year old Ernesto Barajas who are both from California. They have been charged with Disorderly Conduct 2 and Interfering with a Police Officer and were lodged at the Marion County Jail.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind people to have a plan prior to leaving the dock as to who is going to be the designated driver. Although it is legal to consume alcoholic beverages on a boat, it is not legal for the driver to be intoxicated. More than half of all boating accidents involve alcohol. We would also like to remind citizens that you do not have any legal right to interfere with a criminal investigation and should comply with any police officers commands.