Ex-con charged with vandalism in theft of 80-foot

SAN DIEGO -- A parolee who allegedly tried to steal an 80-foot cabin cruiser from the Marriott Marina in the Embarcadero area pleaded not guilty Monday to felony vandalism and was ordered held on $50,000 bail.

Joshua B. Collins, 31, allegedly climbed over security gates at the Marriott Marina in the 300 block of West Harbor Drive shortly before 8:30 a.m. last Thursday, boarded the vessel "Mane Course'' and set it adrift.

The owner of a vessel docked at an adjacent wharf suffered a head injury and fell into the bay while trying to prevent the stolen cabin cruiser from floating into his boat, harbor police Capt. John Forsythe said. Medics took the victim to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening trauma.

Another boat owner, meanwhile, was able to thwart the crime by attaching a line from the stolen vessel to his dinghy, Forsythe said. Officers arrived a short time later, boarded the stolen craft and took the suspect into custody.

Collins will be back in court Jan. 18 for a readiness conference and Jan. 22 for a preliminary hearing.