The owner of The Boatyard, Kristen Wooden, 36, of Antioch, (pictured) was arrested for taking a boat renter’s phone and throwing it into the Chain O’Lakes in front of her business during a dispute on July 22, 2023. | Screengrabs

Police bodycam video released shows the owner of The Boatyard near Antioch throwing a boat renter’s phone into the water during a dispute over the renters crashing the boat.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit was called around 6 p.m. on July 22 to The Boatyard, located at 42125 North 4th Avenue in unincorporated Antioch.

The caller, Kristen Wooden, 36, of Antioch, reported one of her rental boats struck the Route 12 railroad bridge earlier in the day and she wanted to make a report.

Marine unit deputies were responding to the scene when Wooden called 911 again to report the renters of the boat were damaging her property, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.

The woman refused to tell dispatchers what the renters were doing to damage her property.

Deputies arrived around 6:20 p.m. and saw Wooden standing at the edge of her pier engaged in a verbal altercation with the occupants of the boat, which was not yet docked.

Wooden said she was concerned the operator was not able to dock the boat so marine unit deputies offered to give Wooden a ride to board her rental boat so she could dock it herself, which the business owner agreed to do, Covelli said.

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Covelli said Wooden docked the boat and then took a cell phone from the hands of one of the boat’s occupants, who was recording the situation.

Deputies observed Wooden toss the victim’s cell phone into the water after taking it, Covelli said.

A sheriff’s deputy’s bodycam captured Wooden tossing the phone into the water and then putting her hands up into the air.

The sheriff’s office released the bodycam video of the incident Tuesday to Lake and McHenry County Scanner following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Deputies spoke to all of the occupants of the rental boat and found there were no signs of impairment with the operator of the boat.

The boat’s occupants told deputies that Wooden refused to let them dock when they returned until the sheriff’s office arrived.

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The boat’s renters also reported they were not given proper instructions on handling or maneuvering the boat.

Wooden claimed they were given a briefing, Covelli said.

Deputies determined Wooden did not provide a copy of the rental agreement to the renters as required by state law.

They also learned the rented boat did not have U.S. Coast Guard required equipment, including an emergency engine cut-off switch link, Covelli said.

In the bodycam video, a deputy told Wooden that he saw her intentionally drop the renter’s phone into the water.

“I did not intentionally drop the phone… I was trying to defend myself from this crazy woman that we want assault charges put on,” Wooden said.

Wooden admitted to grabbing the other person’s phone after she claimed the woman pushed her, the video showed.

The owner of The Boatyard, Kristen Wooden, 36, of Antioch, (left) was arrested on July 22, 2023, after she allegedly took a boat renter’s phone and threw it into the Chain O’Lakes in front of her business during a dispute, police said. | Photo – Left: Provided; Photo – Right: via Facebook

Deputies then immediately arrested Wooden for criminal damage to property, a Class A misdemeanor.

As Wooden was being handcuffed, she asked deputies, “What about our phone?” and claimed the group of renters stole a phone belonging to an employee of her business.

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Wooden was processed at the Lake County Jail and released on a personal recognizance bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on August 23.

Covelli said that deputies took a boat crash report earlier that day after the rented boat, a double-decker pontoon, struck the Route 12 railroad bridge.

She was additionally cited for not providing the required equipment on a rental boat.

Covelli said the mentioned items were not observed by marine unit deputies.

The business also claimed in the post that the vessel would need to be taken out of service due to its structural integrity being compromised.

The Boatyard, owned by Wooden and her husband, posted on their business’ Facebook page claiming that there were numerous liquor bottles, beer bottles, garbage and human waste left on the rented boat.

She was additionally cited for not providing the required equipment on a rental boat.

Covelli said the boat was not taken out of service and was actually rented the day following the crash.