Arrest warrants have been issued for two men suspected of lighting a Christmas tree on fire in the pre-dawn hours of New Year’s Day at the Southernmost Point monument, which suffered extensive when the flames quickly spread.
Key West Police Chief Sean Brandenburg said Thursday morning that the two suspects, Skylar Jacobsen of Henrietta, Texas, and Dave Perkins, Jr., of Leesburg, Florida, “are aware of the warrants and are making arrangements to turn themselves in.”
The two face felony charges of criminal mischief because the cost of the damage exceeded $1,000, Brandenburg said, commending his officers, who tracked down the two men via webcam footage at the Southernmost Point that captured the whole incident, and then discovered what bars they had frequented prior to the fire.
Key West’s iconic monument gained global attention from the incident.
The suspects lit the Christmas tree on fire at its base just after 3 a.m. on Jan. 1. The fire quickly spread to the cement landmark while the suspects took photos.
While Key West Police detectives worked to identify and locate the suspects, city employees immediately began repairing and repainting the island’s most-photographed location that marks the Southernmost Point in the continental United States and the closest point to Cuba — well, the closest point that civilians can access, as the island’s true southernmost point is located on restricted military property.
The 12-foot concrete monument is painted to look like a giant marine buoy. It has stood at the corner of South and Whitehead streets since 1983 and draws thousands of camera-toting tourists each year.
“Workers are scheduled to put the finishing touches on the landmark and unveil its repairs at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6,” Crean said.