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Coast Guard Arrests Uncooperative Boater After Chase On SF Bay

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This sailboat was involved in a three hour chase on San Francisco Bay on July 21, 2013. David John McCormick, the sailboat's captain, was arrested in the case. (CBS)

This sailboat was involved in a three hour chase on San Francisco Bay on July 21, 2013. David John McCormick, the sailboat’s captain, was arrested in the case. (CBS)

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SAUSALITO (CBS SF) — A sailboat captain was arrested after allegedly refusing a request to be boarded by law enforcement patrol Sunday evening just off of Sausalito, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

David John 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 was 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 was expected to decide Monday 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.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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