NAPLES, Fla.- The owner of a $50,000 boat left sitting at the Naples city dock has been spotted around town in the past few weeks.
City officials want to catch up with Wayne Ball, and find out why he hasn't paid slip fees or returned for his boat, docked since June 7.
Harbor master Roger Jacobsen says the story, "either gets stranger and stranger or more interesting and more interesting. I think the final chapter is the one we are all waiting for at this point."
He says, "the good things is, it seems like Wayne Ball is alive. That's one of the questions the city had."
Employees at Bravo! in the Mercato shopping center say they saw Wayne Ball at the restaurant on Friday, August 24. They say he came in and had quite a few drinks and had to be cut off. He even poured his wine out onto the floor, and two men came and picked him up. From there, he allegedly went to another bar where he skipped out on his tab.
But, the police can't seem to catch up with him, so they need your help.
A blog has also popped up at www.whereiswayneball.com. The author, who claims to be Wayne Ball himself, writes bizarre details about being held captive by Gene Luciano, a captain at the city dock. We spoke to Luciano, who says he doesn't even know Ball. Jacobsen says, "one of the problems with blogs is who is the actual person sitting there, typing into it. The police are doing their investigation in that direction but just like we weren't sure who brought the boat here in the first place, who is actually typing in that blog."
There is also a warrant out for Ball's arrest from Pensacola, Florida for unpaid child support. Jacobsen says, "if a police officer sees him, we can arrest him and at that point just get some good solid information from him on why the boat is here."
For now, the boat will stay at the city dock while authorities continue to try to track Ball down. "We've been going through a phase of whether we wanted to keep the boat ourselves and auction it off, we're not sure legally if we can do that, we're also looking at some different tow companies who can tow it out of here, also a few family members have expressed interest in it," says Jacobsen. He wants the boat gone by the time season starts in October.
Ball's picture is now posted in the city dock office, and they've locked the boat down to the dock.
"Now that we know Mr. Ball was in the area, we're gonna see if we can't find Mr. Ball and have a conversation with him," Jacobsen says.
Ball's ex-wife filed a missing person's report with the Naples Police Department, even though she says she hasn't seen him in years.
If you do see Wayne Ball, call the Naples Police Department or Collier County Sheriff's Office.