Winston-Salem man fined after admitting to vandalizing door on Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick beacon in the nation. [Sam Walker photo]

A Winston-Salem man pleaded guilty earlier this month in federal court to vandalizing the original bronze door at the base of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in June 2018, after a tip from the public led to his arrest.

The letters “SEF” were scratched into the right door. [NPS photos]

Cape Hatteras National Seashore asked for help from the public identifying the perpetrator through social media and local outlets.

Shortly after the information was published, a tip was received that helped National Park Service rangers focus their efforts on 39-year-old Jamie Lester Underwood.

Investigators determined Underwood used a pocket knife to etch the letters “SEF” into the lighthouse’s original bronze door.

Underwood appeared in federal court on July 8 before Chief U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle in Elizabeth City, who ordered Underwood to pay $1,922 in restitution for repairs and serve one year of probation.

Earlier this year, a conservator treated the affected area of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse door.

Curtis Sullivan applying heavy body acrylic paint to the original bronze door. [photo courtesy NPS]

The original bronze door was in-painted with heavy body acrylic paint until a more permanent fix could be made. The conservator will return next month to complete the door treatment.

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