The 38-year-old Lavallette man, identified as Christopher Angulo, paddled out to the Seaside Heights Jet Star coaster in a canoe to plant the flag. He said something about restoring what was lost to the shore.
Angulo then walked from the top of the coaster and hopped into a police boat, where he was handcuffed. He walked through the surf and was escorted to a police car on the beach.
His mother says Angulo lives at his grandmother's home in Lavallette and that he is a bit of a daredevil.
The remnants of the coaster have become one of the iconic images of the storm.
Angulo apparently called a New Jersey radio station and said he was "putting up a flag and I might camp out here a couple days."
Angulo reportedly runs Tsunami Tree Care of Lavallette.
"I'm a local tree climber and I really missed the pier," he told the radio station. "It's like my backyard. Today, I decided to come up and put up a flag. It looks so bare without a flag. I'm going to try to stay a couple days. I have no weapons, if the police get involved. I have a pair of scissors, that's it."
Charges are pending and are likely to include trespassing.
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