Psychiatric Patient Steals Pilot Boat and Goes on a Spree at Livorno

pilot boat livorno pilotina
Livorno pilot boat, 2013 (file image courtesy Piergiuliano Chesi / CC BY 3.0)

Published Oct 22, 2021 6:19 PM by The Maritime Executive

A Dutch national with apparent psychiatric problems has been giving police at the port of Livorno a run for their money. 

Herman Joseph Maria De Charro, 54, allegedly stole a pilot boat from the waterfront at the Port of Livorno on Wednesday night. He headed for sea, chased by the Guardia Costiera and another pilot boat, and made way towards the island of Gorgona. A coast guard patrol boat caught up with him about five miles off the coast, but he took evasive maneuvers and prevented officers from boarding.

After about 40 minutes of maneuvering, he rammed into the stern of the ro/ro ferry Maria Grazia Onorato, resulting in damage to the pilot boat's bow, according to the Medi Telegraph. The ferry was unharmed and continued on its way. 

The alleged thief also continued, heading another six miles out to sea. As the boat took on water from the impact damage, he allegedly attempted to set the pilothouse on fire. Responders finally managed to board the boat and wrest control from the suspect. He was brought into port and briefly detained.

At about 1300 on the following day, residents of a suburban district north of Livorno reported that a man had taken off his clothing in public next to a condominium. The police responded, arrested De Charro a second time, and cited him for obscene acts in a public space. He was then released again. 

De Charro allegedly proceeded to a nearby church, where he forced open the door, ransacked the premises and then "went to sleep in peace," according to Corriere Fiorentino. After this third offense, he was finally taken to a psychiatric ward and hospitalized. 

However, the ward did not hold him for long. It appears that he made an escape, and at noon Friday, bystanders spotted him on the roof of a ticket office next to the port's customs agency building - miles away from the hospital. Firefighters responded to the scene and managed to capture him, with assistance from the maritime border police. He was successfully detained, sedated and returned to the psychiatric ward. 

Top image: Livorno pilot boat, 2013 (file image courtesy Piergiuliano Chesi / CC BY 3.0)