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Arrests Made in Fire at Jacksonville Beach Pier


Jacksonville Beach- Two arrests have been made in connection with Monday's early morning fire that destroyed the historic Jacksonville Beach Pier.

An intensive joint investigation between the Florida State Fire Marshal's Office, the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) has resulted in the arrest of two Jacksonville men responsible for a blaze that destroyed the vacant Pier Point Restaurant and the only remaining portions of the Jacksonville Beach pier.

Early this morning Demetrius Stubblefield, 24, and Christopher O'Neill, 20, were arrested without incident after being spotted as they drove along Marsh Landing Parkway near A1A. Investigators had been searching for the two in connection with the fire since information from witnesses revealed that they had entered the building and then ran out only moments before flames were seen coming from the restaurant. "All agencies have been working around the clock since early Monday morning," stated Investigator David Cheers of the State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations. "Solid police work coupled with public involvement resulted in the case being solved very quickly", Cheers further stated.

Both men admitted to entering the restaurant through a broken window and being inside the structure when Stubblefield ignited a fire that ultimately destroyed the entire building. Stubblefield and O'Neill are charged with arson and burglary, both first-degree felonies. They face up to 30 years in prison on each charge.