CONTACT:
Lt. Douglas J. Gralenski (603) 271-3128
C.O. Wayne Saunders (603) 788-4850
March 22, 2005

Speeding Snowmobilers Arrested

CONCORD, N.H. -- An investigation of a recent snowmobiling incident by New Hampshire Fish and Game's Law Enforcement Division has led to the arrest of Michael Gilcreast, age 31, and Shawn Landers, age 33, both of Londonderry, N.H.

On March 5, 2005, Conservation Officer Wayne Saunders and Lt. Douglas Gralenski were working a routine assignment in the Nash Stream Valley of Stratford, N.H., enforcing speed and safety related violations from their snowmobiles, when they encountered Gilcreast and Landers speeding northward on the Corridor 5 trail. Gilcreast, the lead snowmobiler, was observed operating his snowmobile at the exceptionally high rate of speed of 79 mph when Gralenski and Saunders motioned for him to stop. Gilcreast accelerated to flee the officers, placing himself and all other riders on the trail in grave danger.

A pursuit initiated by Saunders was quickly called off. The primary suspect having fled the scene, the two officers detained Landers as a material witness. Upon further investigation, Gilcreast was determined to be the suspect who had fled the scene.
The incident occurred during the "Snodeo" weekend held at Coleman State Park in Stewartstown; thousands of snowmobile enthusiasts were on the trails in the North Country for the weekend.

Gilcreast was arrested and charged with two counts of reckless conduct and two counts of failing to stop for a Conservation Officer, all Class A misdemeanors. Additional charges of operating at 79 mph in a 45 mph zone and operating to endanger, both violations, were also brought forward. A 2005 ZR900 Arctic Cat snowmobile has been seized and held pending trial. Bail was set at $1,500 cash. Arraignment is set for March 31, 2005, at the Colebrook District Court.

Landers was charged with two counts of interfering with a Conservation Officer, both Class A misdemeanors. Bail was set at $500 personal recognizance. Arraignment is set for April 14, 2005, at the Colebrook District Court.

"I truly hope the court, as well as all fellow snowmobilers, recognize the seriousness of the charges against Gilcreast and Landers," Gralenski said. "This blatant disregard for the safety of others cannot be tolerated. It is my intention to see to it that anyone who may consider a similar course of action will look to this example as a strong reminder that not only does crime not pay -- but also that it can and will be awfully expensive."

N.H. Fish and Game conservation officers enforce OHRV regulations in addition to fish and wildlife regulations. Snowmobile operators caught speeding, driving recklessly, or otherwise breaking OHRV regulations are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Click here for more about snowmobile safety and OHRV regulations in New Hampshire.

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