Drunk charter boat captain held passengers captive for 12 hours, police say

SARASOTA (WFLA) – A group of passengers experienced a scary nightmare while on a 12-hour charter boat fishing trip.

Sarasota police say on Sunday, June 2, five passengers joined Captain Mark Bailey and his first mate, Devin Kisell on the charter boat “Double Marker.”

The group departed Sarasota at 6 a.m. for a 12-hour fishing trip.

According to statements given to police, Captain Bailey was drinking numerous beers and was heavily intoxicated while driving the boat.

When they were about 60 miles out in the gulf, one of the passengers, Carlo Lopeparo asked 15-year-old Jason Rialmo to go to the second deck and grab a beer from a plastic bucket that was next to the captain.

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The Captain told Rialmo to put the beer back. The teen thought the captain was kidding and kept going. The report says Bailey then grabbed him and ripped off a chain that was around the teen’s neck.

An argument then ensued among the passengers. The report states the group tried to continue on with their trip but the mood was sour and Captain Bailey continued to drink and do cocaine.

The Captain then called up 25-year-old passenger Chris Giuffre to come to speak with him and the captain reportedly said: “I have a gun and if I want to, I will put a bullet in each of your heads and leave you out here.”

“At that point we were all kind of waiting for something horrible to happen for him to come down those stairs with his gun,” said Chris’ father, Christopher Giuffre.

After the passengers pleaded to go home, the captain reportedly continued drinking, took out a 9mm handgun and fired 6-7 shots in the air.

“At this point I was thinkin this is going to end really badly and I think we were all trying to strategize as to what we could do where we could hide where could we go, how could we stem the confrontation that was about to ensue,” said Christopher Giuffre.

I’m runnin inside im ducking, thinking ‘Oh I cant get shot today,'” said Jason Rialmo.

The captain appeared to turn around and head to shore, but the passengers soon discovered he was just driving in circles. They were able to use the compasses on their phones to confirm it.

When a passenger pleaded with him, the captain reportedly responded: “No, I can do this as long as I want, I do this for a living.”

Eventually, when they got within cell phone range, the passengers contacted Sarasota police and the US Coast Guard.

After Bailey was arrested, he kicked the rear door of the Sarasota police cruiser. Bailey has been charged with boating under the influence and resisting a law enforcement officer.

The other crimes will be investigated by the US Coast Guard.


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