Gaylord man arraigned on three charges after fleeing DNR conservation officer in Otsego County

Contact: Lt. James Gorno, 989-732-3541
Agency: Natural Resources

June 18, 2021

A 42-year-old Gaylord man was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Otsego County District Court on charges following a domestic argument that occurred Wednesday in Waters, south of Gaylord.

Jesse Martin Gonzalez Jr. was charged with two felonies - failing to stop for a Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer and operating while intoxicated - and a misdemeanor of operating a motor vehicle on a revoked license.

Conservation Officer Tom Oberg was the nearest law enforcement officer to respond to a report by Otsego County Central Dispatch operators of a possible domestic assault in progress at around 1:20 p.m. Wednesday. As Oberg neared the residence along U.S. 27, he observed a black-and-yellow motorcycle leaving the scene, driving toward him.

Oberg activated his emergency lights and signaled for the motorcyclist to stop, but the driver looked at Oberg, yelled a comment and then took off at an accelerated speed. Knowing that backup units were on the way, Oberg issued a be on the lookout alert for the motorcycle operator and continued to the residence to check on a woman there.

She was in good physical condition and told Oberg that Gonzalez used to live with her. She found Gonzalez staying inside her camper that she parked alongside her house, and when she asked Gonzalez to leave, the situation escalated into a verbal disagreement.

Oberg and Michigan State Police Troopers cleared the scene and began assisting other units looking for Gonzalez.

Before 2 p.m., dispatchers received a call about a motorcyclist swerving and believed to have crashed along U.S. 27, near Dodge Lake Road.

Law enforcement officers responded to the scene and did not find the motorcycle. Oberg was aware of a two-track that runs parallel to U.S. 27 and began driving the path in his patrol truck, when he saw the same motorcycle from earlier propped against a tree. Oberg established a perimeter around the location and requested a MSP K-9 unit to begin tracking the suspect.

Around 3:20 p.m., the K-9 officers located the suspect hiding under a pile of brush in the median of I-75 near the Waters exit. Conservation Officer Sgt. Mark DePew took Gonzalez into custody for failing to stop for a conservation officer and transported him to the local hospital for toxicology lab tests.

Gonzalez admitted to taking hallucinogens. He was arrested and placed in the Otsego County Jail.

Deputies from the Otsego County Sheriff's Office and troopers from the MSP 7th District assisted the DNR with the incident.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned law enforcement officers who protect natural resources, ensure recreational safety and protect residents by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Due to the nature of their job, they often work with federal, state and local law enforcement officers to ensure the safety of the general public.