On a whim, a Connecticut college student named Joselinn Anthony took a train to Miami. As he ambled around South Beach, he walked past the Miami Beach Marina and an idea popped in his head.
“He’d never been on a boat so he decided to go on a boat,” said his defense attorney, Richard Gregg. “He walked past security and they never even gave him a second look.”
So he hopped on an 80-foot Hatteras yacht named “Mimi.” He figured out how to fire up the giant twin engines, and got the vessel underway. The joyride quickly went bad.
The fiberglass yacht never made it out of the marina, crashing into several other docked boats and terrifying onlookers before sinking in the dark waters on Oct. 2, 2016.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
A police report the day of the crash valued the vessel — owned by Miami Beach businessman Maximilian Camino — at $4 million. Months later, according to federal court documents, a marine surveyor valued the sunken hulk of Mimi at just $137,000.
Anthony, 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to grand theft, burglary and criminal mischief. He is a former student at the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford.
Police arrested him after reviewing surveillance video from the marina and examining fingerprints. State wildlife authorities estimated total damage at the marina at between $8 million and $10 million.
Because he suffers from schizophrenia, Anthony escaped jail time. Instead, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Diane Ward sentenced him to complete a stint at a mental-health rehabilitation center. If he fails, Anthony would get 364 days in jail.
“It was more than a fair deal,” Gregg said. Anthony may also be ordered to pay restitution.
Either way, the strange wreck sparked another fight over money. The owner of the Andiamo, a docked boat damaged by the Mimi, is suing the marina and the security company that was tasked with protecting the docks.
The marina failed “to properly employ adequate security measures to protect against the reasonably foreseeable risk of theft and vandalism,” according to the lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade circuit court. A bevy of lawyers has also tried to mediate the case in federal court, to no avail, according to court records.