Police: 2 men who defaced historic Southernmost Point Buoy expected to surrender

Suspects identified as David B. Perkins Jr., Rae Jacobson

(Key West Police Department)

KEY WEST, Fla. – Key West police have obtained arrest warrants for two men accused of torching a Christmas tree in front of the famous Southernmost Point Buoy, defacing the landmark, and said the men have made arrangements to turn themselves in.

The suspects were identified by police Thursday as David B. Perkins Jr., 22, of Leesburg, Florida, and Skylar Rae Jacobson, 21, of Henrietta, Texas.

Both men face charges of criminal mischief with damages over $1,000.

According to authorities, the incident occurred around 3:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day and was captured on multiple surveillance cameras in the area.

Police said officers and Key West firefighters were called to the fire at the corner of South and Whitehead a short time later and arrived to find the charred embers of the Christmas tree.

Police said the flames left a burned scar on the Southernmost Buoy that was about three feet wide and seven feet tall.

Surveillance video shows a man dragging the tree to the location.

Police said the duo hid when a car drove by and then took several pictures of each other in front of the tree and buoy with their cellphones.

According to police, one man acted as the lookout as the other lit the tree on fire.

One of them then took a final photo of the burning tree before the two ran out of view of the cameras.

Police said the cost of damage is estimated to be more than $5,000.

A motive for the incident is unclear.

Key West Public Works employees began repairing the buoy the same day, and repairs are expected to be finished by Thursday night.

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.