Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Pinellas

Boater in fatal water scooter crash was impaired, speeding back to shore, Pinellas deputies say

Jesse Mayer, 35, is also a charter boat captain who had a 9-year-old girl onboard when the collision took place, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Jesse Mayer, 35, faces charges of boating under the influence manslaughter, vessel homicide, child neglect, reckless operation of a vessel and violation of navigation rules, according to deputies. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Published Sep. 10
Updated Sep. 11

The 35-year-old boater facing charges in the death of a man on a water scooter is a local charter boat captain who was impaired and illegally speeding back to shore just before the fatal collision, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

The boat’s operator, Jesse Mayer, also had a 9-year-old girl on board, deputies said.

Mayer was arrested Monday on charges of boating under the influence manslaughter, vessel homicide, child neglect, reckless operation of a vessel and violation of navigation rules. He was taken into custody at the office of attorney Jay Hebert at 5250 Ulmerton Road and booked into the Pinellas County jail.

RELATED STORY: New York man who died in Madeira Beach water crash was an artist and a mechanic

The incident took place at about 4:40 p.m. on Aug. 31. Robert Krysztofowicz, 56, was headed north on a Yamaha WaveRunner in a no-wake zone in the Intracoastal near Madeira Beach, deputies said. Mayer, driving a 37-foot Center Console Freeman boat, was also traveling north at speeds of 60 to 73 mph, according to the arrest report.

He struck the rear of the water scooter from behind and then drove over it, deputies said, fatally injuring Krysztofowicz.

Mayer was speeding to avoid a squall suddenly rolling in, said sheriff’s Cpl. Jessica Mackesy.

“(Mayer) was trying to go fast to outrun the storm, to get back quickly," Mackesy said. But the arrest report said Meyer took no precautions in getting back to shore: There was no lookout posted and rain was setting off the boat’s radar.

When Pinellas deputies arrived at the crash scene, they noted Mayer showed signs that he was impaired and found that a 9-year-old girl was on board with him. Her name was not released by deputies.

Mayer smelled like alcoholic beverages, the report said, and deputies noted that he had “bloodshot and glassy eyes, dilated pupils and a sway." His blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.101 and 0.102 almost three hours after the crash, the report said. Florida law prohibits operating a vehicle on land or water at 0.08 or greater.

Mayer has operated James Gang Charters out of St. John’s Pass for more than a decade, according to public records.

Robert Krysztofowicz, 56, seen here in the South of France in 2016. He was run over and killed by a speeding boat August 30 while operating a water scooter near Madeira Beach. [KAVITHA SURANA | Courtesy of the Krysztofowicz family]

Krysztofowicz, of East Aurora, N.Y., had been visiting the bay area on vacation. His large family was devastated by his sudden death.

“He has always been our No. 1 support system through all we did," his daughter, Emily Krysztofowicz, 25, told the Tampa Bay Times last week.

Mayer was freed at 11 p.m. Monday from the county jail after posting $51,000 bail.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Cassidy Dylan Daniels, 27, of 944 Oak Arbor Circle in St. Augustine, faces two counts of carjacking, one count of aggravated fleeing and eluding and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with back-to-back carjackings in Pinellas Park. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    The victims were a woman leaving work and a teen arriving at his home.
  2. Former nursing assistant Falo Kane, 32, of Clearwater, faces seven counts of sexual battery of a physically helpless person. Clearwater police are now looking for more potential victims at other health care facilities. [CLEARWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT]  |  Clearwater Police Department
    Falo Kane is accused of assaulting six patients at four facilities since 2016. Clearwater detectives want to know if there are other victims.
  3. A company called Flock Safety is selling automatic license plate readers to neighborhood associations to cut down on crime, and Tampa neighborhood Paddock Oaks is one of their customers. Pictured is a Flock camera on Paddock Oaks Dr. | [Luis Santana | Times] LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Atlanta-based Flock Safety has provided 14 area communities with high-speed, high-definition cameras for surveillance.
  4. Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos listens to a speaker share an opinion about a city matter during a city council meeting at Clearwater City Hall in Clearwater, Fla. on Thursday, April 20, 2017.  On Thursday, the Clearwater City Council rejected the mayor's resolution urging lawmakers to ban assault weapons.  [Times files] TIMES FILES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    However, the city did pass a resolution calling for more modest gun control measures.
  5. Lilly Beth Rodriguez, left, Laura Robertson and Linda Lamont work on a Habitat for Humanity house in north Pasco. [Times (2013)]
    The increase is expected to happen in the first half of next year. CEO hopes other nonprofits follow suit.
  6. The number of single-family homes sold in the Tampa Bay area during August rose 2.8 percent when compared with the same month last year, according to a monthly report from Florida Realtors. (Times file photo)
    The midpoint price in the bay area rose to $250,000, which is still lower than the state and national median prices.
  7. Michael Robert-Jose Harbaugh has pleaded guilty in the 2017 slaying of Safety Harbor neighbor David Sommer, a former reporter. Harbaugh also pleaded guilty to a charge he tried to have a witness in the case killed. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    Former journalist David Sommer was killed in 2017. Michael Harbaugh, 42, agreed to serve 30 years in prison for his crimes.
  8. Homeland Security agents have arrested St. Petersburg police Officer Matthew Enhoffer, left, on child pornography charges. In this 2015 picture, he received the St. Petersburg Police Department's Medal of Valor for Enhoffer's actions in a shootout with an armed suspect that year. Tampa Bay Times
    The arrest comes after Homeland Security agents raided Officer Matthew Enhoffer’s home last week.
  9. A team of a dozen victims' rights attorneys on Wednesday filed the third lawsuit in three months against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige. The complaint states a woman was repeatedly sexually abused as a child in Scientology's care and that church policy enabled the abuse. PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU  |  AFP/Getty Images
    The third lawsuit filed against Scientology and leader David Miscavige in three months accuses the church of sexual battery, racketeering and conspiracy
  10. Former Pinellas school guardian Erick Russell, 37, is accused of pawning the Glock 17 9mm semiautomatic pistol, body armor and two magazines he was issued to protect students, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. He told deputies he needed gas money. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    Those allegations came to light after his arrest on charges of domestic battery and false imprisonment. He was fired by the Pinellas County School District.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement