A multi-thousand dollar OWI court case has opened in Macomb County, Michigan, after one supposedly sauced sailor chose to use his small red skiff as a weapon against a retired couple’s ski boat in late June.
Predicting something was about to pop off on Lake St. Clair, an unnamed woman aboard the vessel began recording at the exact time 39-year-old Timothy Kennedy began circling their boat, coming dangerously close to their starboard.
After returning to the larger vessel’s stern, Kennedy is seen flooring the skiff until he hits the couple’s boat. Luckily, the enraged boater did not mount the ski boat and instead slid off its backend before shouting presumably profane words.
Footage shows Kennedy trailing the vessel for several more seconds after the shocking encounter, sluggishly shouting more unintelligible words and even waving at the camera before flipping the bird and going on his way.
As a final farewell, the woman is overheard yelling, “You’re going to jail, a**hole!”
The now-viral video posted by Bad Boat Drivers has been viewed over 710,000 times and run on numerous news outlets and sites such as YouTube.
It should come as no surprise that Michigan boating laws prohibit the operation of “any vessel in such a way that it will interfere unnecessarily with the safe navigation of other vessels on the waterway.”
Shortly after the recording was shared with Macomb County police, Kennedy, a New Baltimore resident, was arrested on charges related to operating a vessel while intoxicated and the intentional destruction of another individual’s personal property.
The couple in question chooses to remain anonymous out of fear that the skiff-operator may seek them out for revenge, according to WXYZ-TV Detroit.
Though the video does not reveal what may have caused the incident, one common source of tension between boaters relates to the wake, or wave trail. Considering Kennedy’s boat is much smaller than the couple’s, the wake created from larger vessel may have been strong enough to cause Kennedy to lose control (and perhaps made him spill his alcoholic beverage of choice).
Michigan law says those arrested on an OWI charge will receive a misdemeanor conviction if found guilty, however, those convicted thrice within 10 years get a felony on their record. It’s unclear whether this charge is Kennedy’s first offense or not.
The 39-year-old was arraigned Monday and released on a $5,000 bond. He’s due back in court on July 15.