Police arrest allegedly armed boater who avoided them for 10 days

A 53-year-old Sausalito man was arrested Friday in Tiburon after a standoff from his boat with deputies from Marin County Sheriff's Office

Paul Ray Smith Jr. was booked into Marin County Jail on suspicion of multiple charges -- including felony assault and battery, resisting arrest, assault with a firearm and assault on a police officer -- for incidents that began March 18 and ended Friday after deputies towed his boat ashore and took him into custody.

The first incident involved Smith firing a flare gun at the Richardson Bay Area harbormaster while the official was towing a vessel to the Army Corps of Engineers on March 18, according to a press release from the sheriff's office. The flare did not reach the harbormaster's boat.

Later that same day, officials said Smith arrived at the Army Corps of Engineers dock and a verbal argument ensued.

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On March 23 at 8 a.m., deputies attempted to contact Smith on his vessel, the "Projectile," located within the Richardson Bar Area Regional anchorage. 

"When deputies boarded the vessel in attempt to interview Smith, he was argumentative and retreated into the cabin of his vessel," according to the account in the sheriff's press release. "Smith returned with a pistol in his hand, deputies drew their firearms and ordered Smith to drop the pistol. Smith refused and retreated into the cabin of his vessel. Smith then began to point the pistol out of a window on the vessel toward our Marine Patrol Vessel and in the general direction of the deputies."

Deputies retreated in an effort to de-escalate the situation and made several unsuccessful efforts in the days after the March 23 incident to contact Smith. 

The sheriff's office obtained a warrant for Smith's arrest and contacted him on his mobile phone on April 2 at about 2:30 p.m. to request his peaceful surrender.

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Smith told deputies he would not surrender and that he had a bullet-proof vest, officials said, and a standoff ensued over the next four hours.

Despite deputies using de-escalation tactics -- including less-than-lethal options such as bean bag rounds, tasers and gas -- Smith continued to refuse to comply and attempted to stab deputies multiple times with several long stabbing instruments.

Deputies wound up towing Smith's boat back to the Clipper Yacht Harbor and were eventually able to take Smith into custody. During the operation, Smith's boat inadvertently caught fire, which trapped and killed a dog on board.