Lion hunter's boat stolen from Marco Island home

Posted at 9:56 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 09:09:15-04

The neighbor of a part-time Marco Island resident, who was at the center of a controversy last summer involving the shooting of lion in Africa, has been charged with grand theft.

Police say 26-year-old Andrew Derwin stole Dr. Walter Palmer's $61,000 boat from its moorings behind his home Sunday afternoon and took it for a joyride.

Somewhere between Palmer's home and Caxambas Pass, the boat was involved in an accident, and a passenger on board, 28-year-old Nicholas Stolinas, was severely injured after coming into contact with the propeller.

Palmer wasn't home at the time of the incident.  The Minnesota doctor stirred up worldwide outrage after killing beloved African lion Cecil during a hunting expedition last year.  He was later cleared of any charges.

A woman answered the door at Derwin's Scott Drive home Wednesday and said Andrew and his dad weren't home.  

"I'll tell them you dropped by," she said.

A short time later, a man pulled up to the home, but would not reveal his identity.

Several of Derwin's neighbors wouldn't go on camera, but said Derwin is no stranger to trouble.  Police records show arrests for DUI, forgery and grand theft.

Palmer is no stranger to being targeted either, his home was vandalized last summer by someone outraged over the lion killing.

No one was home when WFTX-TV rang the doorbell at Palmer's home.

A spokesman for Marco Island police said he can't comment on the case because it is an ongoing investigation.