Coast Guard: Suspicious Boat Spotted Past Golden Gate Bridge - NBC Bay Area

Coast Guard: Suspicious Boat Spotted Past Golden Gate Bridge



    A man is in custody tonight after the U.S. Coast Guard says he led them on a chase at sea. NBC Bay Area's Kimberly Tere reports from Sausalito with more details on what led up to the chase and how it ended. (Published Monday, July 22, 2013)

    A sailboat captain who was arrested Sunday evening after allegedly refusing to let a U.S. Coast Guard crew board his boat was identified Monday as David John McCormick.

    McCormick was arrested for assaulting a federal officer after he allegedly lunged at and attacked a Coast Guard officer who was boarding the boat against his wishes, Coast Guard Lt. J.G. Mark Leahey said.

    The officer was not injured, Leahey said.

    Investigators say a Coast Guard boat was patrolling near when it picked up a distress call on the radio.

    A boarding team from Coast Guard Station Golden Gate asked to board the vessel, which was moored in the Richardson Bay off of Sausalito, around 4 p.m. Sunday but McCormick refused to let them aboard, Leahey said.

    McCormick said he had weapons and that there would be violence if the crew attempted to get on the boat, Leahey said.

    When the Coast Guard requested a backup patrol boat, McCormick cut the mooring line and headed out to sea, Leahey said.

    The Coast Guard patrol boat Sockeye and a 47-foot motor lifeboat then responded and pursued McCormick's sailboat. The alleged assault occurred when the Coast Guard boarded the boat about 2.5 miles southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, Leahey said.

    McCormick was taken into custody and his sailboat was towed to Sausalito, Leahey said.  

    He is being held in San Francisco County Jail, San Francisco sheriff's executive secretary Bill Fein said.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco is expected to decide this afternoon what charges McCormick will face, Leahey said.

    McCormick has passports from New Zealand and Ireland, Leahey said. He had bought his 45-foot sailboat in Alameda and it was berthed in Berkeley, according to the Coast Guard.