RICHMOND -- A 37-foot cabin cruiser allegedly belonging to a convicted sex offender that shipwrecked on the shores of a Richmond park last month was towed by police Wednesday.
"It wasn't easy," Richmond police Sgt. Felix Tan said. "The boat was taking on water, and the winds were wicked through a shallow channel. We really threaded the needle."
Tan and several other officers used a Richmond police boat to tow the crippled, badly listing 1970s-vessel into Marina Bay Harbor, where it was pulled from the water and taken to an undisclosed location. Workers secured the boat to a metal trailer and used a high-powered pump to bail it out. The vessel had rapidly taken on water through its cracked hull.
Tan said the boat would be destroyed.
The tow, dry dock and imminent destruction concludes a saga that began in May, when Donald Olsen, identified as the owner of the boat named "Phat Woody," failed to heed orders to make the repairs needed to render the vessel seaworthy, according to police.
The boat crashed onto the shores of Barbara and Jay Vincent Park, a verdant patch at the tip of a peninsula partially encircling Marina Bay, after being evicted from the Richmond Inner Harbor, Marina Bay and a private dock at the Craneway building since April.
Residents living near Barbara and Jay Vincent Park, just a few paces from the shipwreck site, complained to police that Olsen was living there. Police say they arrested Olsen and briefly detained him June 4 for not disclosing his whereabouts as a registered sex offender, as required by law. Rumors of his sex offender status have spread in the nearby community.
Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov declined to elaborate on the details of Olsen's past conviction. He is not listed on the Megan's Law website database. According to state law, special exceptions allow offenders convicted of certain misdemeanor sex crimes and who complete probation and are deemed "low risk" to avoid being listed on public websites.
Officers from the Police Department's marine unit removed the boat at about 4 p.m. Since late May, the ragged vessel sat on the rocky beach, marring the views of San Francisco and Oakland enjoyed by Marina Bay homeowners.
Police previously set a June 24 deadline for Olsen to either remove or repair the boat, which Olsen did not meet.
Olsen, 57, could not be reached for comment, but Tan said Olsen came by earlier in the day while police readied the boat for tow and seemed in good spirits.
"He actually thanked us for our patience," Tan said. "I thought it ended well."