Police: Good Samaritan Stops Man from Burning Down Florida Dive Bar

Vincent Siegrist, 41
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

A Florida dive bar is miraculously still standing after a good Samaritan stopped an irate patron from burning the whole place down.

Jacksonville’s Jug Saloon, a community staple named after lyrics from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s iconic song “Gimme Three Steps,” is owned by Kenneth Gray. He told Action News Jax that a “regular” customer attempted to set fire to the establishment after a seemingly normal Wednesday.

“He’s a regular,” Gray told the local station of the would-be arsonist, who comes to the bar almost every day. “And, he said ‘I’m going to burn the place down,’ and then he attempted to burn the place down.”

Surveillance cameras captured the moment the suspect walked into Jug Saloon with two large gasoline containers and began pouring them all over the floor.

Several workers and patrons quickly began exiting as they realized what was going on.

“I’m concerned not only for the bar, but for his well-being with him being in that mental state,” Gray said.

The owner said an employee called the police, but it was ultimately another witness who stopped the man’s rampage. 

An older man with long gray hair tackled the suspect, and dragged him outside before he could light the fire.

According to Gray, he “would have never thought in a million years that he would do something like this.”

Though the fire never came to be, the drama didn’t stop there.

The suspect broke free of the good Samaritan’s grasp and supposedly ran into the woods, where police searched for hours with a helicopter and a K-9 unit before finding him — asleep in a vehicle parked next to the bar.

“We’re going to make sure that he don’t come in again — we’re going to have that fixed,” Gray said. “But we won’t have him come in running around with gasoline trying to burn the place down.”

“Police on scene said the State Fire Marshal is investigating,” the local outlet noted.

The suspect was later identified as 41-year-old Vincent Siegrist by First Coast News, which reported that he might have been motivated to burn down the Jug Saloon after a recent altercation involving another bar.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.