Read about a guy that was charged with criminal trespass for driving on a public road here and later where the charges were dismissed here
This Northern Express Article informs the reader of just what can happen if you find yourself lost in the woods in Northern Michigan while out exploring nature. You could be prosecuted and have your life turned upside down for making a wrong turn.
Fortunately for this victim of our justice system, he had the support of powerful people in the area and The Northern Express covered his story and charges were dropped.
Someone less fortunate than Mr. Roote would find themselves still entangled in a legal nightmare and more than likely would end up in jail when they can't pay up. This is just business as usual in our local court system.
FEAR IN THE FOREST
On a whim, Terry Roote and his brother and their wives decided to try to get a look at Northern Michigan’s famous elk herd last fall.
Roote had never been to Montmorency County before, and since he was already in Gaylord, where his brother lives, it sounded like something fun to do. Atlanta, the county seat, bills itself as Michigan’s “elk capital,” after all.
“I said, ‘Let’s go out and see if we can spot some,’” Roote said. “We thought we would just cruise around and see if we could see any elk.”
If you look at a map of that part of the state, the remote reaches of the county are a patchwork of state and private land where minor county roads seem to trail off into nowhere.
They wound up on just one of those roads.
STOPPED DEAD IN THE WOODS
It was Sept. 15 when Roote and his family drove down Island Hill Road in Vienna Township.
Roote said it was just a series of random turns that led them to that spot. It is a bumpy dirt road that winds east and then north and then just ends, not far from state land considered by area hunters to be prime territory.
On the way through the woods, past small oil rigs, rustic cabins and old homesteads, Roote and his party wound up at a dead end where Island Hill Road runs into a gate in front of someone’s house. There was a “for sale” sign up ahead. Roote, owner of Great Northern Benefits in Traverse City, a healthcare consulting business and insurance agency, said he decided to have a look.
As his GMC Sierra Denali pickup rolled forward, though, the vehicle thumped into something in the road.
There was a metallic screeching sound followed by the hiss of flowing air.
Roote was terrified. He would later learn someone had laid stop-strips across the road, the kind used by police to blow tires to catch runaway scofflaws.
“I’m like, ‘Wow, who would do something like that?’ You know?” Roote said. “I’m like thinking, ‘’Someone’s sniping us.’ Keep in mind: we were 20 miles from the closest town.”