Man wanted for leaving a dead fish at 'The Goonies' house saved by Coast Guard in daring rescue

Petty first class John Branch Walton discovered Jericho Labonte was a wanted man and the boat had been stolen.

ByTaylor Romine and Ralph Ellis, CNN, CNNWire
Monday, February 6, 2023
Coast Guard rescues man wanted by police before massive wave capsizes boat
A man wanted by police in Oregon in a bizarre incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a daring Coast Guard rescue.

ASTORIA, Ore. -- A man wanted by police in Oregon in a bizarre incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a daring Coast Guard rescue when he was tossed from a stolen boat as it capsized, authorities said.

On Wednesday, police in Astoria, Oregon, received a report that a man had left a dead fish on the porch of the house used in the "The Goonies," police said in a news release. The 1985 comedy adventure was based on a story by Steven Spielberg.

CNN affiliate KGW reported that surveillance video at the house showed the man laying the fish on the porch and making a cell phone video of it before walking away. Police searched two days for the man, identified as 35-year-old Jericho Labonte.

On Friday morning, the Coast Guard received a mayday broadcast from a man piloting a boat at the mouth of the Columbia River, the agency said in a series of tweets.

Coast Guard video showed two helicopters arriving to find the boat being tossed by waves, the Coast Guard said on Twitter.

"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 tweet said.

Video shot from a helicopter showed the rescue swimmer approaching the boat when a wave struck the vessel and caused it to capsize. The man was thrown into the water but the rescue swimmer reached the man and the two of them were lifted into a helicopter.

"Talk about arriving in the nick of time!" the Coast Guard tweeted.

The Coast Guard didn't name the rescued man but posted a photo of him being carried out of the helicopter. He was taken to a hospital in Astoria, treated and discharged.

After images of the water rescue aired, police said they received a call from the Astoria port security chief saying the vessel in the rescue had been stolen earlier in the day.

"At about the same time, we received calls from several citizens identifying the rescued victim as Labonte," the police news release said.

After a brief search and asking the public for its assistance, Labonte was arrested Friday night at a warming center in Seaside, about 17 miles to the south, according to Astoria police. The exact charges were not immediately known.

CNN is working to determine whether Labonte has an attorney.

Police said he was wanted on charges of theft, endangering another person, unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal mischief.

Police in Victoria, Canada, had tweeted that Labonte is wanted on warrants for criminal harassment, mischief and fail to comply.

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