North Carolina

Man carved into historic Outer Banks lighthouse, park service says. Now he has to pay

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of N.C., was finished in 1870 and moved to its current location in 1999. The iconic lighthouse is considered a National Historic Landmark.
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The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of N.C., was finished in 1870 and moved to its current location in 1999. The iconic lighthouse is considered a National Historic Landmark.

A man who vandalized a lighthouse in North Carolina has pleaded guilty to damaging the historic structure, officials say.

Jamie Lester Underwood, 39, was visiting the Outer Banks last year when he took a pocket knife and carved the letters “SEF” on the door of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the National Park Service announced Tuesday.

The structure was finished in 1870 and is now considered a National Historic Landmark, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore says.

“It is important that we treat the lighthouse with respect to honor the structure itself and the legacy of those that served in it,” Park Superintendent David Hallac said after the vandalism was discovered last year, according to the park.

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A North Carolina man carved letters into a historic lighthouse on the Outer Banks, officials say. Cape Hatteras National Seashore

The park service says it had turned to Facebook In June 2018 to help figure out who was responsible for damaging the doors, and a tip helped lead officials to a suspect.

Underwood, of Winston-Salem, pleaded guilty to vandalism in federal court earlier this month, according to the park service. He has to pay nearly $2,000 in restitution and will be on probation for a year, according to the National Park Service.

As for the lighthouse, the “original bronze door was in-painted with heavy body acrylic paint until a more permanent fix” comes in August, the park service says.

'Visit the Outer Banks' wants all to know that power has been fully restored to Hatteras and the island is open and ready to welcome you back.

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