If you’re planning on traveling to Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area this weekend, you might want to leave your stereo at home. Last weekend, a park ranger shot a 43-year-old man over a noise violation.
Casey Hartinger was standing near his nine-year-old son when he was shot by a park ranger who responding to a noise complaint on Saturday night.
“If the bullet hadn’t hit my son, it would have hit (my grandson) in the head,” said Bob Hartinger, Casey’s father.
The details over how a simple noise violation at the Washington state park ended in a shooting is unclear, as state and federal investigators continue to look into the matter. Casey Hartinger has not yet been charged with a crime, but was released from the hospital on Monday, the Spokesman-Review reports.
Park rangers were responding to a noise violation by Michael Joe Sublie, whose houseboat was moored at the recreation area’s Kettle River Campground. Sublie and Hartinger are friends and their family members say neither of them was armed when park rangers arrived at the houseboat.
The Spokesman review reports that “Sublie was uncooperative when rangers approached him. He refused to turn down the music blaring from his boat at about 10:30 p.m. – some 30 minutes after quiet hours had begun. And he refused to identify himself or remove his hands from his pockets as a ranger requested. Sublie was described by rangers as having ‘a heavy odor of alcoholic beverage’ on his breath and at one point yelled obscenities at the rangers as he demanded they leave his boat.”
Court documents say that a scuffle broke out and Sublie pushed one of the officers off of the house boats gangplank.
Sublie was arrested and charged with misdemeanors for interfering with an officer and noise violations.
The Spokesman-Review reports that Hartinger had previously pleaded guilty to a felony domestic violence assault charge in 2011.
E&E News reports that “Jaime Smith, a ranger at Lake Roosevelt, said this morning that NPS is conducting an internal investigation into the ranger’s ‘serious use of force,’ a procedure she described as routine in such situations. Both rangers involved in the incident are still working but will be restricted from their law enforcement duties until the investigation concludes.”
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