Help to Identify the Hit-And-Run, Red Boat Phantom, Who Killed Eric Norris!


It’s hard to understand why a suspect still hasn’t been arrested in a hit and run accident from July 3rd. 30-year-old Eric Norris from Huntington Beach, California was killed on Lake Havasu by an unknown man steering a red boat with a white stripe on it. Eric was being towed on the water while in an inflatable inner tube and apparently he fell off. The towboat that carried him turned around to pick him up. Suddenly, out of nowhere, this red boat hits him.

Michael Dunn and Eric Norris
That’s Michael Dunn (Eric’s best friend) on the left and Eric Norris on the right, shortly before the accident.

Michael said that one of the kids in the towing boat was holding an awareness flag. Obviously, the white, heavy set suspect didn’t see the awareness flag, nor did he see Eric floating down in the water. After hitting Eric the red boat slowed down, according to Michael Dunn, as if he was aware of what had just occurred. Everyone was screaming frantically at this heavy-set man with a moustache, sunglasses and a ball cap. The suspect chose to speed up and flee the scene of the accident.

There is some speculation about whether this man was cognizant that he hit Eric. Michael is certain that he was aware of what he had done. Another odd thing, is that a blonde female that accompanied him must have seen this whole thing happen, and yet she hasn’t come forward to tell her side of the story. It has been 22 days now since it happened and no specific suspect has been identified to date.

Eric Norris
This photo is of Eric Norris riding on an inner tube, really only moments before the hitand-run accident that took his life.

News coverage has slowed also. Most of the news articles come from earlier in July. The most recent article I’ve seen is from July 12th. It’s in Today’s News-Herald (serving Lake Havasu City & The Lower Colorado River Area), and is titled: Detectives release suspect in fatal boat hit-and-run, by Jayne Hanson. The suspect sketch was released then, along with a sketch of the red boat. It might be nice if some of the witnesses could confirm the accuracy of these two sketches.

A few other details should be noted. Lake Havasu is very big; in fact it’s 45 miles long. Its location is on the California-Arizona border near Needles. I’ve read that the suspect fled the scene of the accident in a southern direction, towards Chalk Cliffs. It occurred on Saturday, July 3rd at 5:30 PM on a very busy Fourth of July weekend. This might explain how the suspect could escape unimpeded, then merge unnoticed into the general population of boaters, who were probably more focused on their own celebrations, than a hit and run calamity in progress.

In this type of situation we often are not that observant of the comings and goings of those around us. Had we been aware of what had just happened we’d be on top of it like white on rice. But instead, we’re in our own little world, with not a care at our doorstep. Somebody must have seen the red boat fleeing, but they might be experiencing difficulty remembering it. As people watch the news of Eric Norris’ accident, perhaps bits and pieces are coming back to some of these revelers on Lake Havasu from July 3rd.

From what I’ve read about Eric Norris, he seems like a very interesting man. He worked at Anytime Fitness in Fountain Valley as a trainer. Eric was a student of jiujitsu and was given the nickname “Octopus” because of his ability to entangle his opponents with his arms and legs. And people seem to like him a lot too. Amy Yue, a gym member, said about Eric: “I loved him dearly. He always had a smile on his face and was a very kind young man. I am devastated by his death.”

I will link for you below a memorial website that’s been set up for Eric. Naturally enough, I didn’t know him, but the web site gives you a glimpse of Eric, as well as links for many of the articles written about Eric and this senseless accident. I’m learning more about his life and why people have such a high opinion of him. This is making me very sad.

red boat phantom
A sketch of the suspect and his red boat. If you know who this man is, please call the police. Do the right thing, and turn in the Red Boat Phantom!

Eric’s dad, Jim Norris, was on Jane’s show last Wednesday and appeared to be devastated by the loss of his son. A quote of Jim’s from the Orange County News characterizes the dad’s love for his son. “He had a knack for doing things for people. Everybody always loved him. You can’t prepare to lose a child. It’s not natural.” Tragedy strikes at unexpected times.

Whereas Eric was a good man, the suspect, (a phantom of a heavy-set man, that drives a 25-foot-long red boat with a V-hull and an enclosed bow), must be a bad man. He’s not a man with a developed conscience. Jim Norris said on Jane’s show that he should come forward, do the right thing, needs to be a real man, and turn himself in. That’s for sure. Don’t think he will though. I wonder if he’s intimidating the blonde to keep silent? Bet he is. I wonder, also, how much he had to drink on that day?

We may never know, unless he comes out of the woodwork and confesses. Then maybe the blonde will go rogue, go turncoat on him. Go to the authorities and tell the whole ragged story of how he hit this man, then covered it up, forgot about it, told her to forget about it. And I wonder what he did with this red boat in question?

One would think that neighbors, friends, co-workers, really anybody, would remember seeing the boat in his driveway. Therefore, you would think they could call the police and expose this man for who he is. The scenario that plays out in my head, is that the very next day, the 4th, he probably got rid of the boat. He had to destroy it and also get rid of any photographs lingering around. Hey, he’d have to delete possible photos of the red boat on his computer too and burn the title of ownership.

I don’t think he would paint it, because that would be a give away. Neighbors would say, “Hey Fred, (or Frank, or whatever his name is) why did you paint your boat yellow? Are you trying to hide something?” No, I believe he would have to completely get rid of it, destroy it. Out of sight, out of mind. One thing is for certain, though, he can’t erase memories that people have who have taken a ride in that boat at any given time in the past.

It’s sure a mystery to me why he hasn’t been caught yet. I think he will. The sketches are detailed, there are many witnesses, and he has an accomplice, the blonde, who must be trembling in fear. She’ll crack. She’ll tell on him, if she’s still around? He can’t get away with it. Too many people know too much. The life of Eric Norris has been lost. Justice will be served. It will be a brighter day when this man is put in jail. For tips on the identity of this culprit, call the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Colorado River Station at (760) 326-9200.

Eric ‘Octopus’ Norris