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Carnage In Newport Harbor

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  • Carnage In Newport Harbor

    A stolen yacht crashed into a dock, boats and a bridge in Newport Beach on Thursday, March 10, an Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman said, injuring one person and leading to the accused thief’s arrest.

    The yacht was stolen from a yacht broker in Newport Harbor at around 10:10 a.m., when a man piloted it erratically and collided with at least two boats, Sheriff’s Department Lt. Ryan Anderson said.

    Video of the collision on TMZ showed the yacht plowing into a dock near Lido Isle, and momentarily pausing on top of the dock and boats.

    Debora Dolly was inside her sailboat when the yacht struck and she hit her head, CBS2 reported. Dolly said she was going to get checked but was mostly shaken by the collision.

    “The entire starboard side came crashing in on me and it didn’t stop,” Dolly told CBS. “It came once, twice, three times, so the whole boat, the poles, the steel, the enclosure — everything was crashing in on me.”

    The yacht also slammed into a sea wall near the Lido Isle bridge, Anderson said. At that point, deputies were able to board the yacht and apprehended the man without incident, he said.

    He was identified as Joel Siam, 38, of San Diego, according to Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun.

    How he allegedly stole the yacht and what his motive may have been was not immediately known. He had no reported injuries. The whole episode lasted about 10 minutes, Anderson said.

    The yacht’s owner said it was purchased new in August to be used for a charter business, and that half a bottle of tequila from inside was gone, NBCLA reported.

    The Sheriff’s Department’s dive team was assessing damage to the allegedly stolen yacht and the areas of the harbor it collided with, Anderson said.

    The yacht did not appear to be sinking, but the dive team checked for potential environmental hazards such as leaking fuel, Braun said, and they found none.

    OC Register

    MARCH 10, 2022 4:36 PM PT
    A man was detained by Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol deputies Thursday morning and held on $3-million bail after he allegedly stole a 60-foot yacht and crashed it into multiple vessels docked near Lido Island Bridge, officials reported.

    Joel Praneet Siam, 38, of San Diego, was transferred into the custody of Newport Beach Police and booked on suspicion of grand theft boat/vessel and being in possession of a stolen vessel, according to NBPD spokeswoman Heather Rangel.

    While authorities believe Siam’s joyride was preceded by an act of vandalism on the 1200 block of Pacific Coast Highway, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Ryan Anderson said Harbor Patrol deputies were first notified of a boat collision in Newport Beach Harbor shortly after 10 a.m.

    Responders dispatched to the scene were also told a 60-foot craft had been stolen from a local yacht broker and may have been involved in the incident.

    “The boat was apparently being serviced at the local yacht broker,” Anderson said Thursday. “[It] was being motored and collided with at least two other vessels in slips near the Lido Island Bridge, where the boat stopped.”

    In a matter of about 10 minutes, deputies were able to locate and board the yacht, which became pinned after hitting a seawall near the bridge. They boarded the craft and arrested Siam, who surrendered.

    Anderson said although deputies who work Harbor Patrol duty receive specialized training that allows them to patrol harbor areas and safely board watercraft, Thursday’s incident was unique.

    “Something with this kind of damage is an isolated incident and is pretty rare,” he said.

    Rangel said police believe the incident began shortly before 9:30 a.m. with an act of vandalism near Pacific Coast Highway near the Balboa Bay Resort.

    “He committed a vandalism and went across the street, where there is water, and he stole a boat,” Rangel said.

    Several witnesses went on social media, where they posted video of boats crashing and shared what they saw. Newport Beach resident Todd Newkirk was working on a construction project on the fifth floor of the Newport Towers when he heard a big boom and rushed to the balcony to see what had happened.

    “I wasn’t sure if it was an explosion,” he said. “He was on the east side of the Lido Bridge and hit the first dock over there — there was a huge wake, like he had made a U-turn. Then, he got pinned but the motor was running on full power.”

    “At first I thought the guy had had a heart attack and lost control of the boat,” Newkirk continued. “But then I saw he got arrested. If he was sick, they would have taken him in an ambulance.”

    Anderson said it is unclear whether drugs or alcohol may have played a role in the incident. The recovered yacht was being temporarily housed in the Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol Division yard in Corona del Mar and appeared to have sustained some damage to its side and bow.

    The amount of damage caused to the two vessels struck by the yacht has yet to be determined, he added.

    L.A. Times L.A. Times
    Last edited by Photoboy; 03-11-2022, 11:56 AM.
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  • #2
    That's one way to get away from the law!

    Or NOT!