Two broken boats and an obliterated dock were left in the wake of a Clearwater man who, according to police, took to the waters in his own vessel on Thanksgiving in a state of impairment brought on by an excess of alcoholic beverages.
Forty-four-year-old Robert Clark Hart is in Pinellas County Jail today after sheriff’s deputies say he navigated his boat through John’s Pass around ten o’clock Thanksgiving night without activating the navigational lights on his vessel. They say he “destroyed” Don’s Dock, then left the scene, striking another boat on his way out. Deputies say they then witnessed Hart travel north through the Intracoastal Waterway and subsequently strike a sailboat tied up at a marina at the Tom Stuart Causeway. They went on to say that Hart threw a line to the deputies and requested help securing his vessel to the dock.
According to a responding Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer, Hart said that he was aware that his boat had been in an accident. He said that Hart displayed signs of inebriation, including the odor of alcohol upon his breath, slurring of speech, balance problems, an inability to follow instructions, and redness in his eyes.
Hart has been a guest of the county eight previous times over the past six years, booking his ninth stay just past midnight Friday morning. He is being held in lieu of a $750 bail on charges of leaving the scene of a vessel crash involving property damage and boating under the influence. Hart also has a negative balance of $40 at the jail commissary at the time of this writing.
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