Half-naked man steals boat, rams others at Seattle marina

SEATTLE - A witness fired a shotgun to stop a half-naked man high on drugs who was using a stolen 35-foot boat to ram other boats and docks Sunday night at the Queen City Yacht Club on Portage Bay in Seattle.

Seattle police were called to the yacht club in 2600 block of Boyer Ave. E. just before 11 p.m. for the report of a man who was ramming boats and the docks with a boat he was piloting. During the rampage, the man also struck a pier, causing a marine roof to collapse. As many as 10 other boats were damaged.

"It's pretty crazy," witness Dave Svendsen said. "I don't know how he would have come in, I don't know how he actually got that boat started."

Svendsen told police he was afraid the boat thief would kill someone, so he grabbed his shotgun and fired, wounding the suspected thief in the head and hand.

"I was trying to scare him, because I thought with shotgun shells and blasts in it that it wouldn't kill him," Svendsen said. "And that would have bothered me, that's what I was trying to do stop him."

The thief then got off the boat and onto a dock where medics arrived and took him to Harborview Medical Center. Officials say the 22-year-old man's wounds were not life-threatening and he remains under guard at the hospital until he can be released and booked into the King County Jail.

Police say the 22-year-old was naked from the waist down and apparently high on drugs. He was jailed for investigation of theft and property damage charges.

No one else was injured in the rampage. The armed citizen was interviewed by officers and released at the scene.