Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police: Homeless man tries to swim away after breaking into St. Petersburg boats

ST. PETERSBURG — George Carroll Wright is not a very good pirate.

Lea Obermeyer is convinced of that after police arrested the homeless man early Wednesday on burglary charges at the municipal marina.

Just before 3 a.m., she was asleep aboard Gary Wall's 30-foot sailboat in slip 45 when the 260-pound Wright bounded in through the hatch in the darkness, police said. Wall stumbled awake, too.

Wright said something about someone named Jimmy sending him over to check on them.

"You have the wrong boat," Obermeyer and Wall yelled repeatedly at the intruder, until he left.

The chase was on. Obermeyer called police and Wall followed the unwanted visitor.

Wright didn't leave the marina. Police said he boarded another boat, in slip 39, where he encountered owner Thomas Reilly. Wright quickly left when Reilly pointed a gun at him.

When police arrived, they found Wright on a boat in slip 62, surrounded by angry boaters from the marina. A police officer boarded the vessel.

"They were about to handcuff him when all of a sudden he (Wright) went over the side," Obermeyer said.

Police said Wright refused to come ashore. But Obermeyer soon arrived in her dinghy, which police used to catch him.

Wright faces burglary and resisting arrest charges. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $25,150 bail.

Luis Perez can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2271.

Police: Homeless man tries to swim away after breaking into St. Petersburg boats 07/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fred Ridley on the Road to Augusta


    Last week, I sat down with Fred Ridley, the new chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. Ridley, a lawyer who has resided in Tampa since 1981, was the 1975 U.S. Amateur champion and is the only Chairman to have played in the Masters. I wrote a long story on Ridley, but here are some of the …

  2. Tampa police link two shootings, tell Seminole Heights residents to avoid walking alone


    TAMPA — One was a 22-year-old African American man. The other was a 32-year-old white woman.

    "There are no clear connections between our two victims," Interim Police Chief Brian Dugan said at a hastily called news conference Tuesday. "However our investigation leads us to believe the cases are related." [Photo from video]
  3. Pinellas Sheriff deputies T. Festa, left, and J. Short, righ,t arrest suspect Christopher Parsells, Pinellas Park, early Tuesday as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  4. Richard Spencer coming to town? What UF can learn from other schools


    With Richard Spencer's controversial visit to the University of Florida quickly approaching, some UF and Gainesville police officers boarded a plane bound for Berkeley.

    Thousands of people, many of them college students, gather for a vigil on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 16 -- four days after a Unite the Right rally that led to clashes and the death of a woman. In advance of an appearance Thursday at the University of Florida by white nationalist Richard Spencer, the school is looking at what happened in Charlottesville and other venues where controversial speakers have visited. [Jason Lappa | The New York Times]
  5. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]