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Article posted: 1/4/2013 9:37 AM

Man accused of attacking captain on towboat

By

ST. LOUIS -- A towboat worker is facing federal charges that he choked his captain into unconsciousness as the vessel was traveling up the Mississippi River near St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 30-year-old David Roberts is charged with an act of violence against and incapacitating an individual aboard a vessel, as well as endangering both the vessel and those on board.

Court papers don't specify what prompted Roberts' alleged dispute last week with the unidentified captain aboard the Miranda Paige.

Authorities say Roberts pulled the captain away from the boat's wheel and choked him, causing the vessel to veer sharply toward the Illinois shoreline. Another worker on board took control of the boat, and the captain survived.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday for Roberts' attorney, John Rogers.

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