Authorities aboard an Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol vessel Tuesday chased a man suspected of stealing two small boats in a slow-speed, hourlong pursuit in Newport Harbor.
Shortly after 8 a.m., police received a report that a dinghy was stolen from a boat, according to Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella.
The man then abandoned the dinghy on Lido Island and stole an electric boat, she said.
Police Sgt. T. Hughes said officers boarded the Duffy electric boat and used a Tazer to subdue the man when he would not stop or cooperate with authorities. They took him into custody and transfered him to Hoag Hospital for evaluation. A bottle of vodka and a box of beer were found in the boat.
Dozens of Newport Sea Base and Orange Coast College sailing students watched from docks and balconies while several police boats and a police helicopter chased the suspect as he weaved his way in the stolen boat through a small area in the harbor popular with sailing and boating students, kayakers, stand-up paddlers and boaters.
The man's identity was still being verified Tuesday night, but authorities had said they believe he is from out of state and had outstanding warrants for his arrest.
— Lauren Williams and Allen J. Schaben