‘I don’t know how to swim:’ Video shows strange arrest on Volusia waterway

Family lets deputies borrow boat to nab man on stolen WaveRunner, sheriff’s office says

An Ormond Beach family gave Volusia County deputies an unexpected assist in arresting a man on a stolen Yamaha WaveRunner, according to the sheriff’s office.

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – An Ormond Beach family gave Volusia County deputies an unexpected assist in arresting a man on a stolen Yamaha WaveRunner, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office posted body-camera video (see below) of the arrest Monday on Twitter.

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The video shows a deputy approaching a family on a dock, asking if they could take him and another deputy out on the water to nab the man on the stolen WaveRunner.

“What they said was that they had a situation about two miles down the river, and someone had stolen a Jet Ski, and they did not have a boat in the water at the time,” said Jimmy Hagen, the boat’s owner.

Hagen said his two young sons were also with them. They had just launched their boat when the Volusia deputies approached them.

“I just said well why don’t you just take the boat yourselves,” said Hagen.

The video shows deputies approaching the man on the watercraft. In the video, the deputies draw their guns and order the man to swim over to them.

“I don’t know how to swim,” the man said in the video.

“So, you’re gonna’ take a (WaveRunner) and you don’t know how to swim?” one of the deputies shouted back at the man.

The deputies are then seen in the video throwing the hapless accused thief a rope, pulling him onto their boat.

The bodycam video ends with deputies thanking the family for allowing them to use the boat.

“As they approached the dock, they got the suspect up, and I was like, ‘Oh, gosh! They got this guy in handcuffs,’” Hagen said.

Hagen said he and his family waited about thirty to forty-five minutes for the deputies to return with Williams in custody.

He called it a unique sight and experience, especially for his kids.

“The one thing I did say was that life is about experiences and we’re going to be talking about this one probably for the rest of our lives,” he said.

The WaveRunner thief was identified as Ronald Williams, 48. He faces charges of grand theft and trespassing.

Ronald Williams, 48 (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

About the Authors:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.