Sex offender's derelict boat damages docks during Hurricane Irma

Property owner says insurance won't pay for repairs

EDGEWATER, Fla. – A waterfront property owner has blamed an abandoned boat and its owner for damaging his docks.

"Moored in the middle of the river, registered, not taken care of, broke loose from wherever it was anchored, came through our docks and ended up on property," Bob Labiak said.

The 11-ton sailboat destroyed at least three docks at the Riverview Landings apartment complex during Hurricane Irma.

"They pay a higher rent to live here on the river and they have no place to enjoy it, like they have before, until I replace it all," he said.

The damage will cost between $50,000 and $75,000 out of pocket because Labiak said his insurance won't cover the cost.

"I'm not happy," he said.

Labiak reported the derelict boat to police, who looked up the registered owner.

"Within 1 mile of where we're standing right now, there are 165 sex offenders and that boat is owned by one of them," he said.

News 6 learned he's John McLarty, a 66-year-old transient who hasn't registered as a sex offender since 2015. He was convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child in 1999, records show.

 "I could sue the man, but sue the man and just spend money on lawyers for nothing, because the person has nothing," Labiak said.

Instead, Labiak is spending money moving the boat onto a barge, for it to be hauled off to a junkyard. Labiak said he's not waiting on the county because the process would take twice as long.

"I think anyone who lives on the river or near it agrees, get the boats out of the river. Free rent is not a real thing. You got to pay too," he said.

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