William Joseph Eitel was recently booked into Okaloosa County Jailon charges of with loitering and prowling stemming from a fire he allegedly set inside a Destin bar called the Freaky Tiki.
Eitel had quite an excuse for setting the blaze, though: He was trying to keep the bar up to code on its fire extinguishers and was in fact "sponsored" by a number of beer companies, including Budweiser.
The suspicious blaze caught the attention of an Okaloosa County sheriff last Tuesday. The cop minding his own business, doing sheriff things, when suddenly he noticed a burning smell coming from the Freaky Tiki.
The deputy poked his head inside and found William Joseph Eitel was reenacting the "I have created fire" scene from Castaway . The deputy extinguished the fire and presumably was all like "Hey, Beavis, the hell?"
Eitel then reassured him everything was cool, he was just trying to keep the bar "up to code" on fire extinguishers, no biggie. Possibly noticing this explanation was not playing out as well as it did in his head, Eitel further explained he was sponsored by Budweiser, Yuengling and Miller beers, like some sort of NASCAR-endorsed vigilante.
The cop didn't buy that plausible story, and Eitel was booked on charges of loitering or prowling.
The 52-year-old Fort Walton Beach man has a history of run-ins with the law in this area, as this is his 10th booking into the Okaloosa County Jail since March 2009 -- but hey, at least his next booking is free.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.