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Man rescued from sinking yacht in Oregon allegedly left dead fish at “Goonies” house days earlier


(ASTORIA, Ore.) — A man saved from a sinking yacht was later identified as a wanted suspect who allegedly left a fish on the porch of the house from The Goonies in Oregon, police said.

The yacht had been stolen and the man, identified as Jericho Labonte, 35, was arrested after the rescue, police in Astoria, Oregon, said.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Northwest district on Friday released a video of a yacht in danger in high waves at the mouth of the Colombia River.

“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,” the Coast Guard said. “As he entered the water the vessel capsized but the rescue swimmer was able to safely recover the individual.”

After the Coast Guard posted the video, police in Astoria, Oregon, said they began receiving calls about both the rescued man and the vessel.

“On February 3, 2023, we received a call from Port Security Chief Matt Hansen informing us that the vessel involved in the Coast Guard rescue earlier in the day was stolen from the Port of Astoria,” the department said in a news release. “He recognized the vessel on the video, contacted the owner, and confirmed that it had been stolen.”

Calls also began coming in about the man who had been rescued, with locals identifying him as Labonte, police said. Police in Victoria, British Columbia, had been searching for Labonte since at least Jan. 19, when they issued a province-wide arrest warrant for him for five unendorsed warrants for charges of criminal harassment, mischief and three counts of failure to comply.

Police in Oregon said Labonte was released from the hospital on Friday before they realized who he was.

“He had been transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital after the rescue as a precaution and was discharged before being identified as the suspect,” Astoria police officials said.

Astoria Police said they had added their own charges against Labonte, saying in a press release that he was wanted on charges including theft, endangering another person, unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal mischief.

They said they had received a call on Feb. 1 saying that Labonte “had posted a video of himself on Facebook placing a dead fish on the front porch of the Goonies’ house.”

Labonte was arrested on Friday evening at the Seaside Warming Center, a shelter in Astoria, police said.

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