A 24-year-old man attempted to steal 70-foot vessel Gambler in Newport Beach, California, on December 23 a couple hours before the harbor’s boat parade was scheduled to begin. Newport Beach police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol responded to calls of a “boat traveling erratically.” The sheriff’s department said the person driving the boat “was unresponsive to commands and attempted to accelerate and steer the boat away.”
A police officer and sheriff’s deputy boarded the moving boat and gained control within minutes, and Theodore Liko Wilson was arrested and booked into the Orange County Jail, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Wilson pleaded not guilty to felony burglary, felony unlawful taking of a vehicle, and felony vandalism, along with six misdemeanor counts related to driving under the influence, resisting arrest, and operating a vessel under the influence on December 31.
There were a number of vessels in the harbor during the incident, and the vessel was damaged but the extent is unclear. According to police, Wilson was under the influence at the time, and the boat reportedly collided with multiple boats and damaged a dock, CBS Los Angeles reports.
YouTube video recorded by Justin Aveni: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLo6t5afGls