There be pirates on the border

DPS Tells Falcon Lake Jet-Skiers To Stay On The U.S. Side If They Value Their Lives

The Texas Department of Public Safety has issued a warning telling people who jet-ski on Falcon Lake, which is divided by the U.S.-Mexico border, to stay the hell on the American side.

David Michael Hartley, 30, was shot yesterday afternoon and is believed to be dead. He and his wife were jet-skiing when they were approached by six men in two boats coming from the Mexican side.

Shots were fired, Hartley hit the water, and the wife was threatened when she tried to circle back to look for him.

DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange says law enforcement agencies are once again urging caution.

The Zapata County Sheriff's Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department are telling boaters on Falcon Lake to stay on the United States side of the lake and not venture into Mexican waters.

The Texas Rangers are assisting the Zapata County Sheriff's Office with the investigation.

TPWD Game Wardens and DPS officers, including Texas Rangers, have been at Falcon Lake since Thursday assisting the Zapata County Sheriff. TPWD has two 21-foot boats on the water today with at least six Game Wardens. DPS has deployed its SWAT team, one of its helicopters and its river boat. Additional DPS and TPWD resources are on standby.

It's the fifth incident in the past five months. The other four:

April 30: Four heavily armed men boarded two boats near the Old Guerrero area demanding money. The bandits were given $200 in cash and tried to follow the U.S. boats as they sped back to U.S. waters. The bandits stopped once they reached the United States boundary.

May 6: Two armed men approached a boat near Marker 14 on the north side of Salado Island on top of the ruins at Old Guerrero. The men demanded money, which the fishermen gave them.

May 16: Five armed men boarded a boat on the United States side of the lake near Marker 7. Investigators have no further information on the incident.

August 31: Falcon Lake pirates, using a small boat marked "Game Wardin" using duct-taped letters to possibly mimic Texas Parks and Wildlife vessels operating in Texas waters, attempted to stop a Texas fisherman. His knowledge of previous DPS safety warnings about Falcon Lake and the misspelling of the word "Warden" alerted the fisherman that something was wrong and he outran the Mexican vessel to safety.

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