SEATTLE, Wash. - The registered sex offender who stole the Victoria Clipper from its pier on Dec. 1 was sentenced to 29 months in prison on Friday.
Samuel McDonough, 33, entered the courtroom in shackles and asked Judge Ken Schubert to go easy on him.
"I humbly ask this court for the low end of the sentencing range, 22 months," he said. "I take full responsibility for my actions and apologize sincerely for the hardship I have caused the Victoria Clipper cruise line."
Then McDonough, who was representing himself, explained matter-of-factly why he stole the multi-million dollar ferry on his 33rd birthday, causing a massive police response.
"I was walking down the waterfront late at night, saw through the fence - and thought, 'I bet I could do it' - " he said. "So I did. No other reason than that."
Only Chopper 7 captured images from above of McDonough onboard the Clipper, wearing a white towel on his head.
McDonough admitted in court that he exposed himself to a barista but said, "he did not think it was that bad."
He told Schubert he ended up at the waterfront because he refused to stay at his offender housing in downtown Seattle.
"That has nothing to do with what we're doing today," Schubert said. "I still don’t think that you appreciate the severity of your actions."
Schubert gave him the maximum of two years and five months in prison. McDonough will get credit for the roughly 54 days he's already served.
"I still think he thinks he just took a boat out on a joyride and doesn't really get the whole impact of what he could have done: damage to the vessel and damage to the environment,” Clipper Capt. Jason Mihok said.