Ferry passenger who refuses to pay causes back-up, sailing delay

A ferry customer who refused to pay for a ticket Friday morning on the Clinton-to-Mukilteo route caused traffic back-ups and put the entire run behind schedule.

Hadley Rodero, a spokeswoman for Washington State Ferries, confirmed that both boats on the route were running about 40 minutes behind.

“Right now, there is also a [traffic] back-up in Clinton,” she said, early Friday morning.

The incident began on the 7 a.m. sailing out of Mukilteo. According to police, a man boarded the ferry without purchasing a ticket. He was confronted by ferry staff, but refused to cough up money for a fare.

“To my knowledge, he wasn’t forceful or anything like that,” said Trooper heather Axtman, spokeswoman for the Washington State Patrol. “He was just very vocal that he wasn’t going to pay.”

Ferry loading was halted until the incident was resolved. In an interview early Friday morning with The Record, Axtman said she did not yet know the result of the incident, only that there was one of two possible outcomes.

“He either paid for it [a ticket], or we removed him; those were his options,” she said.

Rodero said ferry service Friday was also disrupted on Central Whidbey but not for unruly passengers. Sailings on the Coupeville-to-Port Townsend route were cancelled for the day due to high winds. She said the weather would be monitored and service would resume Friday if possible.

“If we can go back into service we will… but it’s not looking like that will happen,” Rodero said.

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