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The original item was published from 7/25/2023 10:24:30 AM to 8/16/2023 12:00:00 AM.

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Sheriff's Office News

Posted on: July 25, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Boat Rental Business Owner Charged After Throwing Renter’s Phone in Water

On July 22, 2023, at approximately 6:00 p.m., the Lake County Sheriff’s Marine Unit was dispatched to ‘The Boatyard’ in Unincorporated Antioch, located in the 42100 block of North 4th Avenue.  The caller, Kristen Wooden, 36, of the 41000 block of North Westlake Avenue, Unincorporated Antioch, reported one of her rental boats earlier struck the Route 12 railroad bridge, and she wished to make a report.

While Sheriff’s Marine Unit Deputies were responding to the scene, Wooden called 911 indicating the renters of the boat were damaging her property, however, she refused to tell emergency telecommunicators what the renters were doing to damage her property.  Marine unit deputies arrived at approximately 6:20 p.m. and observed Wooden at the edge of her pier engaged in a verbal altercation with the occupants of the boat, which was not yet docked.

Wooden said she was concerned the operator was not able to dock the boat, so marine unit deputies offered to give Wooden a ride to board her rental boat, so she could dock it herself, which Wooden agreed to do.

After docking the rental boat, Wooden took the cellular phone from the hands of one of the boat’s occupants, who was recording the situation.  After taking the victim’s cellular phone, marine unit deputies observed Wooden toss the victim’s cellular phone into the water.

Sheriff’s marine unit deputies spoke to all of the occupants of the rental boat and found there were no signs or indications of impairment with the operator of the boat.  The boat’s occupants said when they returned to the dock, Wooden refused to let them dock until the sheriff’s office arrived.

The boat’s renters indicated they were never given proper instructions on handling or maneuvering the boat.  Wooden claimed they were given a briefing.  Marine unit deputies determined Wooden did not provide a copy of the rental agreement to the renters, as required by statute.  They also determined the rented boat did not have U.S. Coast Guard required equipment, specifically an emergency engine cut-off switch link. 

Wooden was subsequently arrested for criminal damage to property, due to taking the cellular phone from the victim and intentionally dropping it into the water.  She was also cited for the violation of not providing required equipment on a rental boat.  

Wooden was processed and released on a $1,500.00 recognizance bond.  She is next due in court on August 23, 2023 at 9:00AM in courtroom T020.  

Marine unit deputies took a boat crash report for the incident earlier in the day, where the boat struck the bridge.

It was later claimed by ‘The Boatyard’ that there were numerous liquor bottles, beer bottles, garbage, and human waste left on the rented boat.  These items were not observed by marine unit deputies.  It was also claimed the vessel would need to be taken out of service due to its structural integrity being compromised, however, the same boat was rented the following day.

All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.  

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