King County, Wash. - Donellda Arksey, 60, listened as King County deputy prosecutor Caitlin Cushing described the allegations against her on board the Victoria Clipper Saturday night.
"She had consumed a significant amount of alcohol and then she assaulted her husband of 10 years in front of witnesses," said Cushing. "And so we do feel that it's a pretty significant assault to punch someone on the middle of a crowded ferry."
According to her husband, the ship was headed to Seattle from Victoria, B.C., when Arksey began to attack him. Dave Arksey told KIRO 7 the captain stopped the ship while officers tried to get his wife under control.
"This is the first time in my 28 years that we've ever experienced anything like this," said Darrell Bryan, Victoria Clipper President. He went on to describe the incident. "Her husband at one point ran away into a wash room to hide from her because she was actually beating on him," said Bryan.
The prosecutor asked for $5,000 bail, citing the fact that Arksey lives in the Victoria area. But her daughter begged the judge, through tears, to set her mother free. "This is not what happens with my mom all the time," said Tracy Messmer, her voice breaking. "When she drinks, vodka in particular, she cannot control herself in that matter. But otherwise she's a wonderful person and a grandmother."
King County District Court Judge Charles DeLaurenti said the crime warranted bail. He set it at $2,500. Arksey posted bond Monday night. She will be back in court Wednesday afternoon.
Her husband plans to take the Clipper back to Victoria on Tuesday. His wife is never allowed back on the vessel.