A self-proclaimed “pirate” accused of stealing the Victoria Clipper on Sunday was charged today in King County Superior Court with second-degree burglary, first-degree theft and first-degree malicious mischief.
Samuel Kenneth McDonough, 34, of Preston, is being held at the King County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail for a crime spree that was called “spectacularly reckless and deadly perilous” by Deputy Prosecutor Ian Ith.
“Apparently on a whim as a birthday present to himself, McDonough took control of an $8 million, 480-ton, 132-foot passenger cruise vessel and ripped it from the dock at the Seattle waterfront in the predawn darkness,” Ith wrote in charging documents.
“When contacted by police SWAT-team officers while adrift in Elliot (sic) Bay, Mr. McDonough proclaimed himself a pirate, and said he had intended to flee the country to Victoria, B.C.”
Ith wrote that McDonough later told authorities that he “sought passage to West Seattle.” McDonough also told police that his name was “Zero” and asked officers to bring a woman to the ship “because he was lonely,” according to police.
According to the document of probable cause, and an official with Victoria Clipper, McDonough snaked through a very small hole in a security fence at Seattle’s Pier 69, where the Clipper docks its vessels, partially untied one of the boats and managed to start the vessel Sunday morning.
Darrell Bryan, CEO of Victoria Clipper, called for help when he saw that the Clipper IV was missing from its slot and appeared to be headed toward Harbor Island.
McDonough was arrested without incident by a police SWAT team that boarded the Clipper IV.
McDonough did not know how to operate the vessel. Ith wrote in charges that the man’s only prior experience manning a boat was driving a Sea-Doo personal watercraft.
Ith, in charges, wrote that McDonough is a flight risk.
He was released from prison in May after serving time for felony indecent exposure after he was caught masturbating in front of baristas at an Issaquah coffee stand, charging paperwork said. This was his third conviction for felony indecent exposure. McDonough has prior convictions for drug possession, drunken driving and theft.