Man killed while trying to steal yacht had history of drug, mental problems

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – A man who was shot to death after he tried to steal a 70-foot yacht earlier this month had a history of drug abuse and mental issues, investigators said Thursday.

Casey M. Ryan, 40, was shot to death on Sept 4 at about 3:40 a.m. after he attacked the occupants of the catamaran motor yacht “Seaweed,” which was docked at Pier 32 Marina located at 3201 Marina Way in National City.

Witnesses reported a boat owner got off of a large yacht and yelled for help, telling others that he had shot and killed an intruder. The 63-year-old man, a 61-year-old woman and a dog were in the boat when
Ryan boarded the vessel, police said.

Police investigators said that Ryan had released the mooring lines of the yacht and set it adrift. He then tried to start the engines before forcing his way into the cabin and attacking the boat owner.

National City police determined that the boat owner was defending himself and broke no laws by shooting Ryan. They said that their investigation revealed that Ryan had a history of drug abuse, mental health issues and aggressive behavior in the days leading up to his death.