Bryan Pennington was convicted in federal court of illegally anchoring his boat in Aquatic Park Cove.
Jailed yachtsman Bryan Pennington likely will spend more time behind bars regardless of the sentence handed down Thursday in federal court on his misdemeanor conviction for anchoring his trimaran in Aquatic Park Cove without a permit.
Pennington was arrested on a charge of violating a court order and has been in custody at the Hall of Justice. Bail is set at $20,000, or he will be held until that case reaches San Francisco Superior Court .
According to a memorandum from the U.S. attorney’s office in advance of Pennington’s sentencing by U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler, Pennington has an open case on misdemeanor charges of making threats against national park employees. Pennington was ordered to stay away from the bleachers in front of the Maritime Museum and allegedly violated this “stay away” order, leading to his arrest.
“This all too common pattern of disregarding the rules and laws set in place to protect society supports a long period of probation,” reads the memo.
THE PENNINGTON CASE
Bryan Pennington's trimaran, once the scourge of Aquatic Park swimmers, now sits moored at the end of the Hyde Street commercial dock, in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. The yacht broke free of it anchor and drifted into the Hyde Street Pier, before being moved to the commercial dock. Rogue Aquatic Park yachtsman convicted of anchoring without a Bryan Pennington and his yacht in Aquatic PArk Cove Aquatic Park yacht squatter arrested after boat runs amok Bryan Pennington and his yacht in Aquatic PArk Cove Renegade yacht breaks anchor and is towed out of Aquatic Park
Throughout the six-month dispute over illegal anchoring in federal waters and both clogging lanes used by swimmers and fouling bay waters with sewage, Pennington has tangled with park rangers and police who patrol Aquatic Park, which is part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, officials said.
Shortly before his May 3 arrest, the boat Pennington lives on, a Searunner 34 sailboat, was towed to a berth in the Hyde Street Harbor, where it has been chained to the dock and posted with no trespassing signs. The Port of San Francisco presented Pennington with a marine lien against the boat for $5,409 in unpaid tariffs going back to mid-April, when the boat broke free of its anchor and drifted into the Hyde Street Pier.
Pennington, 52, was convicted April 26 on three misdemeanor counts of berthing his boat in the cove without a permit, off and on, between Sept. 26 and Feb. 9. Aquatic Park allows anchoring for five consecutive nights or 30 nights total in a calendar year, provided the mariner has a permit.
Pennington never had a permit and maintained during his trial that he did not need one because he entered the cove as a mariner in duress, due to damage to his vessel.
He represented himself at trial. When Judge Beeler cut him short on a lengthy cross-examination of a government witness, Pennington claimed that his right to due process was being violated and declined to participate further in his trial.
The U.S. attorney has asked Judge Beeler to sentence Pennington to five years probation, during which he would not be allowed to enter Aquatic Park Cove on any vessel.
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