NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Some people are saying what happened here on Balboa Bay was "crazy."
To others, "it was insane."
To authorities, it was dangerous.
Police in Newport Beach say it was around 9:20 a.m. when they got a call of vandalism in the 1200 block of Pacific Coast Highway. When police arrived the suspect allegedly fled. A half-hour later, the suspect stole a yacht from a yacht service center and then he took off erratically.
Dylan Eckhardt captured it all on his smartphone.
"It was one of the scariest moments. This whole building was shaking and he hit that dock so hard that a mast the size of that sailboat on that sailboat that smashed down and the whole building was shaking we thought he was going come all the way through the building," Eckhardt said.
Shawn Elliott is the President of the Ultra Luxury Division of NestSeekers International. He described the yacht as "a 62 footer."
"All of a sudden, it takes out the sailboat. It takes out the boat in front of that," said Elliott, who appears on several real estate television shows including Selling Sunset, Selling the Hamptons and The Real Housewives of Miami.
Elliott claims the boat in the slip next door just under his office belongs to legendary Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway. The one to the left of it was hit hard. Inside a woman who lives on her boat.
"This woman comes out screaming. I think she was bleeding. I mean she was screaming… Oh My God… The woman lives on the boat," Elliott said.
Then the suspect goes back into the bay. Police identified him as a 38-year-old San Diego resident Joel Siam.
"I feel like he was running from the police. He starts doing donuts inside the bay like trying to get away from the police to the bridge. I think he smashed into the bridge. I saw two different police boats take this guy on either side and they boarded this boat. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It was just insane," Elliott said.
Authorities say the Via Lido Bridge was not damaged. The yacht actually hit the seawall next to it.
According to law enforcement, it took 10 minutes once Harbor Patrol deputies reached the water to the time they arrested the suspect who was stopped by the bridge.
Siam was booked on charges of grand theft of a boat and possession of a stolen boat. Both are felonies. He's being held by Newport Beach PD on $3 million bail.
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