Charter boat captain arrested in Florida, accused of getting drunk, firing handgun and refusing to return passengers to shore

Shortly after midnight on June 2, Sarasota Police and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to 2 Marina Plaza in Sarasota after receiving calls from passengers aboard a charter ship saying the captain, 36-year-old Mark Bailey, was intoxicated. (Source: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office)
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB/Gray News) - A charter boat captain was arrested on Sunday, accused of getting intoxicated on his boat, firing a handgun and refusing to return his passengers to shore.

Shortly after midnight on June 2, Sarasota Police and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to 2 Marina Plaza in Sarasota after receiving calls from passengers aboard a charter ship saying the captain, 36-year-old Mark Bailey, was intoxicated, had fired off rounds from a handgun and was refusing to bring them to shore.

When Bailey docked his boat, he was detained as police spoke with witnesses.

Bailey's first mate told officers that he had seen the captain drink an unknown number of beers. Three witnesses gave a similar statement, while one added Bailey had also been drinking rum, according to police. Two passengers also attested they witnessed Bailey snorting cocaine.

Officers say they led Bailey to a nearby cruiser and say he was unsteady on his feet, was slurring his speech, had watery, bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol. Police say he refused to submit to field sobriety exercises or a breathalyzer.

Officers say Bailey became agitated when told he was under arrest and demanded to speak to a supervisor before kicking the rear door of a cruiser. Bailey was charged with boating under the influence and resisting arrest without violence.

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating Bailey for crimes that took place in their jurisdiction out on the water, including the allegations around the use of a handgun and refusing to return passengers to the shore.

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