Minnesota Man Steals Houseboat 'Under Maritime Law,' Is 'Tased' by Police

Police in Minneapolis have reportedly used a stun gun on a man who was arrested on suspicion of stealing a houseboat moored on the Mississippi River.

Officers responded to reports of a missing houseboat that had its rope cuts while docked off Nicollet Island at around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

They found a masked suspect at the scene attempting to steer the boat northward on the Mississippi River by pushing off with a pole, local station KSTP reported.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said that the houseboat did not have a motor.

The man claimed that he was "seizing the boat under maritime law," according to emergency dispatch audio.

Witness Chris Steller said that officers caught up with the boat further upstream and managed to pull it ashore.

Footage posted on social media appeared to then show one officer, who was stood in the river, use a stun gun on the suspect.

"All I heard him say was 'Ow!' when he got Tased," Nicollet Island resident Steller said.

Local news anchor Jana Shortal described how police "had to jerk him off the boat," because the suspect was not being compliant.

Shortal said the masked suspect was also wearing a fanny pack and costume pajamas but was not wearing any shoes.

The suspect, a male in his 40s, was then arrested on suspicion of probable cause theft and taken into custody. A suitcase was also reported to have been removed from the boat by police as the suspect was detained.

Another witness claimed that he saw the man struggling with the boat around two hours before police arrived to investigate.

"It was under the [railroad] bridge, perpendicular to the current, and the anchor was up and it wasn't moving," said Steve Thompson. "He was walking on it with a two-by-four board trying to spin it around...He looked very irritated."

The boats owner, Zach Norman, also described the suspect as a "character who has been around for a few weeks." Norman alleges that the suspect had previously been seen breaking locks and windows on the vessel before attempting to steal it.

The Minneapolis Police Department has been contacted for further comment.

Police arrested a man who attempted to steal a houseboat that was moored on Nicollet Island in the Mississippi River. Google Maps