Florida man in 26-foot sailboat arrested in hit-and-run crash near Palm Beach Gardens

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Palm Beach County deputies arrested a man behind the helm of a 26-foot sailboat they say hit another vessel Wednesday in the Intracoastal Waterway near Palm Beach Gardens and fled.

James Sowell, of Titusville, Fla., is charged with leaving the scene of a vessel accident with damage and resisting arrest. 

A deputy who was patrolling the Intracoastal just north of the Parker Bridge on Nov. 8 reported spotting Sowell in his blue sailboat with a red kayak on the side.

The sailboat was a vessel suspected in a hit-and-run boat crash in the water near the 11900 block of South Edgewater Dr.

Sowell tried drinking from a container and going down into the cabin of the sailboat while the deputy spoke to him, the report states.

The deputy boarded his boat and struck him, reportedly afraid Sowell was trying to get a weapon. 

After Sowell was struck, it caused him to fall back and that's when he was handcuffed.

Sowell was taken to the Palm Beach County Jail on misdemeanor charges and released Thursday on his own recognizance.

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