A female sailor who worked on the COVID Navy ship USNS Mercy is at the center of the investigation into the fire on board USS Bonhomme, that was allegedly set by a ‘bipolar’ seaman who’d told friends they were engaged until he dumped her for getting pregnant by another man.
Seaman Apprentice Ryan Sawyer Mays, 20, has been charged with setting the fire on board the Bonhomme last July. His attorney says he had nothing to do with it and he is awaiting a preliminary hearing.
The ship was docked in San Diego last summer when someone set fire to it. The blaze lasted five days.
Newly unsealed documents this week shed more light on the Navy’s case against Mays, who dropped out of SEAL training shortly before the fire.
During a ten hour interview with Navy investigators, he told them that he’d been in a romantic relationship with Petty Officer Armelle Ane.
He said they were engaged, that he had proposed at a French restaurant, and that the relationship ran into trouble when she was deployed to the UNSN Mercy, a Navy hospital ship that was deployed to Los Angeles to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
While in L.A., deployed on the Mercy, he told investigators that Ane became pregnant by another man.
Mays said it drove him to end their engagement and that he was ‘single’. He’d thought at first that he was the father, the report says.
Ryan Sawyer Mays (right) is the Seaman Apprentice charged with setting fire to the USS Bonhomme. He told investigators that he was engaged to Petty Office Armelle Ane (left) and that he’d proposed to her at French restaurant in San Diego before she was deployed to the USNS Mercy, the COVID ship sent to L.A. last year (she is pictured on board, left). He said he dumped her after finding out she’d become pregnant by another man. Ane says they’re all ‘bipolar’ lies
The fire on the USS Bonhomme on July 12. It began on July 11 and raged for five days, during which time 70 people were injured and the ship was so seriously damaged that it has since been decommissioned
But in her interview with investigators the next day, Ane said he made it all up.
Ane told the investigators that she even took a pregnancy test to prove that she was not pregnant, as the alleged arsonist told all their friends
It’s unclear if the pair ever dated, but she emphatically told the investigators they had never been engaged, nor had she become pregnant by anyone.
She even said she took a pregnancy test to prove that he was lying, after he’d told their friends about her apparent affair.
‘On August 21, 2020, U.S. Sailor Petty Officer Third Class Armelle Ane was interviewed in regard to her romantic relationship with Mays.
‘Ane stated that she was not engaged to MAYS and that she was not pregnant. Ane related that MAYS was telling fellow sailors that he was going to be a father and that Ane was pregnant.
‘Ane refuted and stated that she was not pregnant, never became pregnant, and had previously taken a pregnancy test to confirm that she was not pregnant.
‘Ane described MAYS as being volatile and “bipolar,”‘ the report reads.
When contacted by DailyMail.com on Thursday, Ane declined to comment.
The Navy search warrant suggests that Mays was embittered against the military after dropping out of SEAL training because it was too hard. His lawyer says he is innocent
A screenshot from Mays’ Instagram page that the Navy investigators included in their search warrant
Mays joined the Navy in 2019 ‘with the intent on becoming trained in the Advanced Electronics Computer Fields,’ but ‘changed his career goals to becoming a Navy SEAL,’ according to the search warrant
The newly unsealed search warrant suggests that he was embittered against the Navy after dropping out five days into the rigorous training required to become a SEAL.
Witnesses told investigators that Mays was seen going below deck carrying two buckets on the day of the fire, and that he muttered he ‘hated’ the Navy.
His attorney insists this is not the case, and that he planned to try again at joining the SEALs.
‘His dream has always been to make the Navy a career.
‘My client, although he dropped out, was hopeful that one day he could get back into it.
‘I can say that my client has always denied any involvement with the fire on the Bonhomme Richard and he continues to do so.
‘He is presumed innocent. We’re just looking forward to the opportunity to where we can review the evidence and prepare our case,’ attorney Gary Barthel told ABC News.