Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police commandeer good Samaritan's new boat to capture fugitive in Clearwater Harbor

CLEARWATER — The first day with his new boat was going just as Mike Parker had planned.

He left his Central Florida home at dawn Thursday to pick up the 22-foot boat he'd bought in Clearwater. He took it for a spin in the Gulf of Mexico. But when he brought it back to the Seminole Boat Ramp, things got weird.

In a flash, six Clearwater police officers not only had boarded the vessel, but also used it to capture a fleeing man who was wanted for grand theft.

"The cops christened the boat," said Parker, 65.

The man police apprehended — Jonathan Hansen, 25, of 1763 Ridgewood St. in Clearwater — faces charges of grand theft and resisting arrest without violence, said Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. Authorities say Hansen is believed to have stolen two vacuums from a Bed Bath & Beyond and a security system from a CompUSA in Sunset Point Shopping Center on U.S. 19.

More charges are pending.

Officers spent much of the morning looking for Hansen, Watts said. After they spotted him near Marshall Street and Sunset Drive, he jumped into the Intracoastal Waterway to avoid being arrested.

Shortly thereafter, police arrived at the boat ramp and asked Parker, a retiree originally from Texas, if they could use his boat.

"They said, 'Would you be a good Samaritan and help us?' " Parker said.

He did, and a few minutes later, police found Hansen riding in another vessel that had picked him up.

According to Parker, when the officers on board — T.J. Donnelly, Joe Falcone, Lamon Green, Jeremy Jenkins, Leonard Merritt and Christian Zarra — confronted Hansen, he jumped into the water again and tried to get away. But police quickly pulled him into Parker's boat.

To thank Parker, authorities gave him a Clearwater police patch.

"I said, 'Could I get a get-out-of-jail-free card?' " Parker said, laughing.

Times photographer Douglas R. Clifford contributed to this report.

Police commandeer good Samaritan's new boat to capture fugitive in Clearwater Harbor 07/23/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 23, 2009 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays make Hechavarria trade official

    Blogs

    Here is the release from the team ...

     

  2. Jones: Will Tampa Bay hit a Hall of Fame dry spell now?

    Lightning Strikes

    Marty St. Louis may lack the Hall of Fame stats, but two scoring titles, an MVP award and clutch goals should count for a lot. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  3. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena

    Tourism

    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  4. Update: Scientology cancels planned mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology planned to film a mock FBI raid on a downtown building Monday afternoon, but the actors and cameras never showed up to the location disclosed to the city.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  5. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Human Interest

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]