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January 24, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Victoria Clipper ‘pirate’ sentenced to 2 years, 5 months in prison

Samuel McDonough in December.

Samuel McDonough in December.

A self-proclaimed “pirate” who pleaded guilty to stealing a Victoria Clipper ferry last month was sentenced to two years and five months in prison by a King County Superior Court judge on Friday.

Samuel Kenneth McDonough, a convicted sex-offender from Preston who represented himself during the court proceedings, asked the judge to give him less than 2 years. He said he had taken responsibility for his actions by telling police what he did, once arrested, and by pleading guilty in court. In addition, he said, he didn’t think it was fair that he had to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet or register as a level III sex offender because he didn’t think his previous sex offenses were “all that bad.”

He said,  “I was high on meth when I decided to show my penis to a coffee stand barista. … At the time, I figured it could be the same as a girl showing her boobs. You know, attractive.”

Prosecutors said in charging documents that it was McDonough’s 33rd birthday on Dec. 1 when he decided to climb through a small hole in a security fence at Seattle’s Pier 69, where Victoria Clipper docks its vessels. He partially untied the 132-foot Clipper IV and started the vessel up with keys he found in the unlocked wheelhouse, according to Darrell Bryan, the CEO of Victoria Clipper. Authorities were alerted when Bryan arrived in the morning, saw the empty slot and spied the vessel, which appeared to be headed toward Harbor Island, police and prosecutors said. McDonough was arrested by Seattle police SWAT-team officers after talks with a hostage negotiator failed, according to police.

In court documents, prosecutors said McDonough took the $8 million, 480-ton vessel “on a whim as a birthday present to himself” that day because he wanted to go to Victoria, B.C. He also claimed to be seeking safe passage to West Seattle, police said.

When contacted by police SWAT-team officers while adrift in Elliott Bay, “Mr. McDonough proclaimed himself a pirate, and said he had intended to flee the country…,” Deputy Prosecutor Ian Ith wrote. Court documents also allege that McDonough told authorities his name was “Zero” and asked officers to bring him a woman “because he was lonely.”

McDonough was under supervision by the state Department of Corrections and was supposed to be wearing a GPS anklet. McDonough has convictions for indecent exposure in King County in 2005, 2008 and 2012. The most recent conviction, a felony, came after he allegedly masturbated in front of two Issaquah coffee-stand baristas, according to court documents.

At Friday’s hearing, King County Superior Court Judge Ken Schubert said McDonough’s statement about why he shouldn’t have to register as a sex offender, and his vow that he would cut off any GPS bracelet placed on him, convinced the judge that McDonough did not respect the law or intend to follow court orders. He said McDonough, therefore, deserved a sentence at the high end of the standard sentencing range.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter, Traffic & Transit | Topics: barista, pirate, sex offender


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