The man who allegedly left a dead fish at “The Goonies” house then had to be rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after a yacht he stole capsized has been arrested, according to authorities.
Law enforcement had reportedly been searching for the suspect since Wednesday when they were alerted to a video apparently posted to social media showing 35-year-old Jericho Labonte, a Canadian, leaving a fish and dancing at the property in Astoria, Oregon, from the classic 1985 movie. An acquaintance reported the video to police, according to CBS News. On Friday, the Coast Guard received a mayday call and posted a video of a yacht capsizing in rough waters during the successful rescue of Labonte from the mouth of the Columbia River.
“I kind of got thrown around a little bit by the wave and then when I came up I noticed that the boat was pretty much in shambles,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Branch Walton, the rescue swimmer. “I was actually here for training as a student for the Advanced Helicopter Rescue School. I kind of got called on the case, kind of luck of the draw,” he added.
(2/4)…who launched motor life boats from STA Cape Disappointment, the air crews arrived on scene to find the vessel floundering in the surf! The surf made rescue by boat dangerous, so the aircrew decided to lower the rescue swimmer and have the owner enter the water for rescue… pic.twitter.com/z92WvzpTG9
— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) February 3, 2023
Two Coast Guard air crews received a mayday call Friday morning during a training mission, according to tweets from the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest. They launched ships and found the boat “floundering in the surf,” making a boat rescue too dangerous. Instead, the Coast Guard lowered Walton into the water.
“As he entered the water the vessel capsized but the rescue swimmer was able to safely recover the individual,” the Coast Guard tweeted. “He was flown back to Coast Guard Base Astoria where EMS was waiting to evaluate and treat the man.”
The suspect was then taken to a hospital and treated for mild hypothermia. The Astoria Police Department said in a Facebook post that it had “received calls from several citizens identifying the rescued victim as Labonte,” but he was discharged from the hospital “before his true identity was discovered.”
Labonte allegedly covered the security cameras at the home and left the dead fish on the porch, then returned later to remove the fish. Police believe it was caught locally, as someone reported taking Labonte fishing on the same day the fish was left on the porch.
The owner of the 35-foot yacht reported it stolen Friday, according to Astoria Police Chief Stacy Kelly, who admitted it had “been a really odd 48 hours.” Labonte was arrested at a warming center in Seaside, Oregon, on charges of first-degree theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, criminal mischief, and endangering another person, according to Fox 12. He is reportedly in ICE custody at the Northwest Detention Center in Washington.