Crew member arrested for fishing boat rampage that left shipmate dead

An illegal Mexican immigrant attacked several crew members aboard a fishing boat off the coast of Massachusetts, leaving one man dead, prosecutors said.

Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 27, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of second-degree murder, attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon in the Sept. 23 rampage on the fishing boat – dubbed the Captain Billy Haver – as it sailed roughly 55 miles offshore with seven crew members, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

“It is alleged that at sometime in the afternoon, Meave Vazquez assaulted a crew member on board with a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other,” a news release reads. “The victim then saw that another crew member was lying on the deck bleeding. Meave Vazquez then struck a third crew member with the hammer.”

Meave Vazquez then allegedly climbed up the 82-foot vessel’s mast as other shipmates tried to capture and subdue him, prosecutors said.

The ship’s captain sent out an SOS, which was eventually answered by a German cruise ship, the Mein Schiff 6, which responded and took two of the victims aboard.

“We have a man gone crazy here on the boat, man,” the captain said, according to audio of the call obtained by The Virginian-Pilot. “One man, I don’t know if he’s dead or what. But one of the crew members went crazy, and he started hitting people in the head with a hammer. I got three men that’s injured now. One I can’t wake him up.”

One of the victims was later pronounced dead by the cruise ship’s physician, prosecutors said. The crazed attacker was later subdued and charged the next day.

Meave Vazquez, who had been living in the United States illegally, was also arrested in March in Newport News, Virginia, where he allegedly tried to abduct and strangle his 20-year-old wife, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

The woman told police Meave Vazquez warned her that he “made a lot of money as a scallop fisherman” and could afford to hire someone to kill her and her relatives.

Vazquez, who will be subject to deportation upon completion of any sentence he receives, is now facing up to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. He has remained in custody since his arrest in September, prosecutors said.

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