Toomer’s oak tree fire suspect taken into custody on multiple charges

AUBURN, Ala. (WIAT) — At approximately 12:15 a.m. on Sept. 25, Auburn Fire and Auburn Police departments were notified of a fire at Toomer’s Corner on campus. One of Toomer’s oak trees was burning due to the toilet paper being set on fire. The trees were rolled following the 18-13 win over LSU.

Auburn Police have identified Jochen Wiest. The suspect is a 29-year-old male from Auburn. He is not affiliated with Auburn University, according to officials.

Wiest was brought into custody on Sept. 25 on a warrant that charged him with desecration of a venerated object in addition to public intoxication. On Monday, Sept. 26, police added a charge of first degree criminal mischief to Wiest’s case.

Auburn Police, working with the University and its horticultural department, determined that the damage to the tree exceeded $2,500, according to a press release. Alabama law requires that people that cause damages exceeding that amount be charged with criminal mischief first degree.

Wiest remains in Lee County Jail where he is being held on a bond of $4,500. At this time, Auburn University is asking fans to refrain from rolling the Auburn Oak at Toomer’s Corner while the assessment of its health is ongoing.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call detectives at 334-501-3140 or the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391.

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