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Dad Arrested, Kids Home, Boat Returned

It’s almost always better to think long-term rather than short-term. Someone should have told Christopher Maffei that. But it appears that Maffei allowed emotions to run ramshackle over reason when he allegedly snatched his two toddlers — Brooklynn, 3, and Devin, 2 — from their mother’s home, stole a Hunter 41 from Ballena Isle Marina, and tried to make his escape down the coast last week. The Coast Guard intercepted Unleashed off Monterey on Friday just before dark, arresting Maffei and taking the children to their mother, who had admitted barring Maffei from visiting the kids.

Instead of going through proper — if undoubtedly longer and possibly more frustrating — channels to gain legal visitation and/or custody, Maffei appears to have gone with short-term thinking. Now sitting in jail for kidnapping, child endangerment and parental kidnapping, with bail set at $200,000, he not only faces more jail time, but no time at all with his kids (family courts generally don’t look kindly on kidnapping parents when considering visitation rights).

What really baffled us — along with everyone else, it appears — is why Maffei apparently stole a sailboat as his getaway vehicle. As noted Don Durant of Club Nautique, with whom the boat was in charter, sailboats are neither fast, nor are they very easy to hide. 

Unleashed was returned to her slip this morning by delivery crew Gary Scheier, Colin Williams and Dwayne Sullivan. “There were princess stickers in the aft cabin,” says Club Nautique’s Marianne Armand, “so it seems the kids were enjoying the ride!”

© Marianne Armand
The hailing port was removed from the transom, and the vinyl portions of the boat’s name were also missing but the painted shadow remains.

© Marianne Armand

Be that as it may, Maffei would hardly be the first father to take off with the kids in a sailboat. In fact, today’s Latitude Quiz of the Day question is which ‘A List’ Hollywood star defied a judge’s orders by grabbing his kids and taking off across the Pacific? For bonus points, how was he able to get away with it, and what happened to him as a result of his actions? 

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