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Monday, July 15, 2013

Nude Man Infiltrates Yacht Club, Attempts to Steal Boat

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

click to enlarge Police converse with the man accused of attempting to steal a boat while clad only in a life vest. - DEANNA DESIN
  • Deanna Desin
  • Police converse with the man accused of attempting to steal a boat while clad only in a life vest.

Saturday marked the first actual race in the strange and terrible saga of the America's Cup. Sailing aficionados summed that one up in one word: Boring!

It'll take more words than that, however, to describe what went down at the Bayview Boat Club not far from AT&T Park, on the day of their annual "Plastic Classic" race. And it wasn't boring.

A nude man infiltrated the club, made off with a life jacket, hurled himself in the water, boarded a docked sailboat at the nearby Mariposa Hunters Point Yacht Club, rendezvoused with aquatic police -- and was charged with attempted grand theft.

A large gardening implement was also involved.

It was crowded midday at the Bayview Boat Club. Unlike the America's Cup -- where two vessels racing was a 100 percent increase from prior days -- a full 58 boats registered for the yearly Plastic Classic.

So many guests were coming through the front door that it was propped open. Normally, visitors are required to put on a name tag, notes fleet captain Jerry Minister. But in the crush, these rules can be ignored. Especially if someone has no shirt on which to affix a name tag.

Unlike your prototypical yacht club, Bayview is very down-to-earth place. A dude with ratty black pants, no shoes, and no shirt doesn't exactly fit in, but he didn't really stand out, either. When such a man snatched an orange life preserver, however, that stood out. Folks peered up from their beers as voices shouted out "Hey! You can't take that! Put that back!"

At around this point, the man dropped his pants. They stayed on the dock, but he made his exit.

The man hurled himself into the water, and swam-and-walked his way around 500 yards toward the ballpark to the Mariposa Hunters Point club. At some point, he came into possession of a large stick that Mariposa club secretary Deanna Desin says was a gardening hoe. Asked how he got it, she laughs and replies "You know, I have no idea."

click to enlarge Ronald Morgan, 44, has been charged with the attempted grand theft of the "Slowly But Surely." - DEANNA DESIN
  • Deanna Desin
  • Ronald Morgan, 44, has been charged with the attempted grand theft of the "Slowly But Surely."

The man swam to the club's emergency ladder, climbed onto the dock, and made his way toward the "Slowly But Surely," a small sailboat owned by Bridgette Carroll and Steve O'Brien. He managed to untie two of the three lines tethering the ship to the port, then leaped aboard and hacked at the final line with his gardening implement.

"He swung it like someone trying to plant something in the earth," said an also-ran in the Plastic Classic who witnessed the event. "A tiny motorboat with flashing lights came. I thought it was the Coast Guard, but it was the San Francisco Police."

The interloper didn't manage to sever that last rope, but he did prune up the boat's deck. His wild swinging finally caused him to lose his balance and topple into the water. He beat the side of the boat for a while before swimming to the dock where he was detained.

Bayview Boat Club staff later gave the man's pants to the police. His wallet and ID were in the pockets. Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza says that 44-year-old San Franciscan Ronald Morgan (yes, "Captain Morgan") was charged with grand theft, giving a false identification to a police officer, "and some traffic warrant violations." He is currently incarcerated at county jail. 

The boat he purportedly targeted, the "Slowly But Surely," was boarded by an interloper some months ago. That person undid all the lines, leaving it to drift onto the rocks by the morning. Desin didn't get a good enough look at that marauder to know if it was Morgan.

Over at the Bayview Boat Club, meanwhile, staff note that, other than the naked guy who swam off with the life jacket, the Plastic Classic came off really well.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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