Bartender Cracks Case of Burned Key West Buoy

He remembered suspect who ordered 3 rounds and never left a tip
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2022 4:49 PM CST
Bartender Who Remembered Bad Tipper Helps Crack Vandalism Case
In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, visitors gather at the repaired Southernmost Point marker Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Key West, Fla.   (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

Police in Key West trying to find the suspects who vandalized an iconic local landmark in the early hours of New Year's Day got some help from a bartender with a good memory for bad tippers. After authorities shared video of the two suspects setting a Christmas tree on fire next to the buoy that marks the southernmost spot in the US, causing damage that cost more than $5,000 to repair, bartender Cameron Briody recognized one of them from Irish Kevin's Bar, CNN reports. He says the suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Texas man Skylar Jacobson, ordered three rounds of drinks—and unlike every other customer he served on New Year's Eve, he never tipped.

"I knew immediately that I had served him and that he had used a card, so his name would be on the slips," Briody tells the Tampa Bay Times. Bar manager Daylin Starks says it took just minutes to find the right credit card receipt and identify the suspects on security camera footage. "We could follow them the whole time, in and out of the bar,” she says. "We could see them getting rejected from all the girls they were trying to hit on." Police later issued arrest warrants for Jacobson and the second suspect, identified at David Perkins Jr., 22, of Leesburg, Fla.

Police say both men, who face felony charges of criminal mischief with damages over $1,000, admitted vandalizing the buoy and said they had made a "big mistake." The Times reports that while Briody says Starks and Key West police deserve a lot more credit for finding the suspects, he still received a reward—a case of rum that local distillery owner Paul Menta had promised to whoever identified the suspects. (More Key West stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.