RAVENEL, S.C. (WCBD) – A Ravenel couple says illegal fishing has led to crime and safety concerns for a small Charleston County neighborhood. They say they’ve asked for help from Charleston County to ban the trespassing and while enforcement changes have been made, the couple is asking for more.
Ricky Baturin and his wife say despite numerous no fishing signs and calls to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), people continue to illegally fish. The Baturins say it’s led to drug and alcohol use, sometimes ending with crimes like break-ins and thefts.
“Having a lot of trouble with petty crime in the neighborhood, trespassing, and littering, you know drugs and day drinking,” says Baturin. “We’ve had our property vandalized twice in the last year and a half and broken into twice.”
It’s a problem the Baturins say has been going on for more than a decade. Ricky Baturin says the trespassing fishers have gone as far as breaking into his garage by driving through the doors.
“We’ve been cussed out, thrown stuff at, we’ve had trash thrown in our yard, spit at,” says Baturin. “It’s an ongoing problem we have on Waldon Road.”
Ricky says he and his wife have called the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office for help and met with Sheriff Graziano back in April. Following the meeting, they say things improved and the agency issued citations to those illegally fishing. Despite the increased enforcement, Baturin says things have recently gotten worse.
“Sheriff Graziano has been very accommodating but the last few weeks it’s gotten out of hand and it’s going back to where it was before,” says Baturin.
The bridge in front of Baturin’s property has eight Department of Transportation signs prohibiting fishing. CCSO told the Baturins people could fish in a small designated area but Baturin says it still requires trespassing to reach the spot and that the change wasn’t communicated to him or his wife.
“We have not received that information and we would like to know what that information is,” says Baturin. “We really need to stop the vandalism and the small crime and the break-ins.”
The Baturins say they plan to continue to reach out to Sheriff Graziano and other leaders to find a solution to their problem.
We heard back from CCSO Wednesday evening. They say they’ve been in communication with the Baturin family for years and say they’re enforcing the laws against illegal fishing and trespassing to the extent they’re able.