Arrest warrant out for San Diego man suspected of crashing stolen yacht in Newport Harbor

A damaged yacht docked at A'maree's.
A damaged yacht docked at A’maree’s in Newport Harbor.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

An arrest warrant is out for the San Diego man accused of stealing a yacht and crashing into several other vessels in Newport Harbor in March.

Joel Praneet Siam, 38, stands accused of grand theft, buying or receiving a stolen vehicle or equipment, battery with serious injury and eight felony charges of vandalism causing damage over $400.

Siam also faces one misdemeanor charge for vandalism and a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury.

Siam, out on $50,000 bail, was scheduled to appear for a pretrial settlement conference at the Harbor Justice Center on Wednesday, according to court records. When he failed to appear, Orange County Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson declared Siam a fugitive, and an arrest warrant for him was issued that same day by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities allege Siam stole a 60-foot yacht in Newport Harbor and crashed it into multiple vessels docked near Lido Island Bridge on March 10, where Siam eventually crashed.

Siam pleaded not guilty to all charges on March 17.

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