News from the DNR Office of Communications

The Maryland Natural Resources Police Blotter

Annapolis, MD (August 24, 2010)Garrett County – On August 22, 2010, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged William Stewart Bender, 48, of Frostburg, Md. with negligent operation of a vessel, failure to keep proper lookout to avoid a collision, and speed too great for conditions relating to a boating accident that occurred during August 21.

On August 22, at 8:00 a.m., NRP officers were notified by Caryn Gill of Beckman’s Peninsula Road that a boat had struck her dock during the night, causing damage to the dock and a vessel that was moored there. Gill said that the striking vessel was sunk at her dock.

Officers determined the striking vessel to be have been operated by Bender. An investigation revealed that Bender’s vessel, a 2007 22-foot Correctcraft pontoon boat, was travelling at high speed and struck a dock owned by David Klueter. The vessel travelled through and severed the dock’s walkway. The vessel continued on for an additional 100 feet then struck the dock owned by Gill. This impact caused the dock to move three feet off its base and damage the moored vessel.

The investigation also revealed that Bender had been reported over due at approximately 1:40 a.m., on August 22, by his wife who said that her husband left the bar and had not returned home. At approximately 3:00 am, Bender awoke Gill and used her phone to call his wife for a ride home. Bender did not mention that he had just struck Gill’s dock and his vessel was sunk there.

Bender’s court date has been set for October 28, at the District Court of Maryland located in Oakland.

St. Mary’s County – On August 21, 2010, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) were called to Point Lookout State Park to investigate a drowning. At 2:40 pm, Favian Martinez, between 18 and 20, was swimming in the Potomac River at Point Lookout State Park when he disappeared below the surface of the water. Martinez was found several minutes later by life guards, who immediately began CPR. The victim was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital by ambulance where he was pronounced deceased. The victim was an illegal immigrant from Guatemala and a relative at the scene did not have exact age. Martinez lived in Frederick, Md. The Maryland Natural Resources Police Special Operation Division is investigating. No foul play is suspected.

  August 24, 2010

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8850 office | 410-713-8449 cell

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at