Marathon liveaboard arrested after machete incident


A 53-year-old Boot Key Harbor man was arrested Saturday for swinging a machete at another liveaboard and threatening to kill him.


John Ralph Zens was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated stalking.


The 28-year-old male victim reported on May 3 that Zens attempted to strike him with a machete while the victim, his girlfriend (also Zens’ former girlfriend) and another person were coming ashore at the 20th Street Bridge. Zens’ told the male victim that he was going to kill him if he didn’t leave the area. Zens then swung the machete at the man, nearly striking him before the victim was able to flee.


The male said Zens’ had previously shot a flare gun at him and threatened to kill him in separate incidents.


Interviews were conducted with the victim, Zens and witnesses. Warrants were issued for Zens’ arrest.


Zens was booked into jail Saturday afternoon.