According to court records, Christopher Shane Dreiling, a 42-year-old from Oxford, Alabama, pleaded not guilty in federal court this morning to an offshore stabbing incident that left two of his fellow fishermen bobbing and bleeding in the Gulf of Mexico last month before they were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
In a criminal complaint filed Aug. 21, a special agent with the Coast Guard Investigative Service claimed Dreiling (pictured above) was serving as a deckhand on the boat Billy B out of Bon Secour on Aug. 20, alongside captain Noah Gibson and crew Anthony (AJ) Love. The boat was approximately 45 miles southeast of Orange Beach, when “with no provocation and no previous indication of hostility,” he stabbed Gibson with a knife in the chin and lip. When Gibson turned to jump off the boat in an attempt to flee, Dreiling allegedly stabbed the captain in the back, pushing him into the water.
Meanwhile, hearing the commotion, Love turned around and took a defensive position. According to the complaint, “Love was stabbed several times while turning to run away from Dreiling. Dreiling continued to chase Love through the wheelhouse and around the vessel stabbing Love. On several occasions, Love turned to fend off Dreiling, receiving additional stabs to his arms and the front of his torso. During the attack, Love was eventually able to jump off the vessel and into the water.”
Allegedly, the Billy B was not underway at the time of the attacks, but once both victims were in the water, Dreiling attempted to take control of the boat.
“In dire straits, Gibson pleaded with Dreiling to throw a life raft and emergency beacon in the water, which Dreiling did. The contact with the water activated the emergency beacon notifying the USCG that people were in the water. Gibson then pleaded with Dreiling to contact the USCG by VHF radio. Dreiling contacted the USCG indicating there were people in the water and that he stabbed the individuals.”
The complaint says the Coast Guard vessel Kingfisher was able to respond “immediately,” and upon arrival, took control of the Billy B, detained Dreiling, and evacuated Gibson and Love via helicopter to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola. B
Dreiling was arrested, booked into the Baldwin County Corrections Center, and remains there today without bond. On Aug. 31, he was formally charged with two counts of assault with the attempt to commit murder within the United States maritime jurisdiction. A trial has been tentatively set for November.