Police identify 2 suspects in Southernmost Point buoy torching


Photos show the condition of the Southernmost Point buoy before and after it was torched by two suspects. (Photos Courtesy of City of Key West, and Key West Police Department)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Key West Police said Thursday they have obtained arrest warrants for two men suspected of torching a Christmas tree at the Southernmost Point buoy in Key West on New Year’s Day.

The suspects were identified as David B. Perkins, Jr., 21, of Leesburg, Florida and Skylar Rae Jacobson, 21, of Henrietta Texas, according to a release from the police department.

Police alleged both men were caught on several security cameras, dragging the tree to the location. When a car passed the area, police said both men hid before taking several pictures on their phones of each other in front of the tree and buoy.

Officers said, “while one man checked the surroundings, the other lit the tree, and a fire raged. One man took one last photo of the blazing tree before the two ran out of camera range.”

A photo of the aftermath shows a burned scar on the buoy’s face approximately three feet wide and seven feet tall. The damage was estimated to cost over $5,000.

Police said both men made arrangements to turn themselves in.

Crews began to repair the buoy the same day it was discovered to be vandalized. The Key West Police Department said the iconic icon 4-ton cement monument that reads “90 miles to Cuba, Southernmost Point, Continental U.S.A.” is an important location where tourists from all over the globe pose for photos.

This is a developing story. Stay up to date on the latest from News Channel 8 on-air and on the go with the free WFLA News Channel 8 mobile app.

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