Sailboat Captain Arrested After Pursuit, Assault

11:34 AM: A sailboat captain who was arrested Sunday evening after allegedly refusing to let a U.S. Coast Guard crew board his boat was identified today 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.

McCormick’s vessel first aroused suspicion on Sunday afternoon because it had no flag or identification on the hull, Leahey said.

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.

James Lanaras, Bay City News

12:35 AM: A boater was detained after refusing a request to be boarded by law enforcement patrol Sunday evening just off of Sausalito, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

A boarding team from the Coast Guard Station Golden Gate requested to board a 45-foot sailboat which had moored just off Sausalito at about 4 p.m., but the master of the vessel refused the request, Officer Mark Leahey said.

The sailboat had no flag flying and no markings of any kind indicating its name or origins, which is highly unusual, Leahey said.

After refusing the request, the master of the vessel cut his mooring line and attempted to leave the bay, according to Coast Guard officials.

The coast guard unit called for backup from a larger Coast Guard patrol boat as well as the Sausalito police and the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.

The vessel was followed to a point about two and a half mils west of Ocean Beach where the Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye and Station Golden Gate conducted a joint boarding, officials said.

The master of the vessel remained uncooperative and a minor altercation ensued, but the boarding team detained the boater, officials said.

The vessel was towed to the Coast Guard Station Golden Gate.

The boater is being questioned. The incident is under investigation.

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