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Posted 27 Aug 2001   For week ended August 10, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 06Aug01

By Kent Larsen

Naked Man Breaks Into St. George Visitors Center

ST GEORGE, UTAH -- A naked man smashed through a 1/2-inch thick plate glass window in the St. George Utah Temple Visitors Center early Friday morning, closing the center for the weekend. Police were forced to use an electric stun gun to subdue the "combative and resistant" man, but his motives for the attack remain a mystery.

According to police, they received calls from neighbors to the visitors center starting at about 7:50 am reporting that a naked man was running down the street toward the Temple. Subsequent calls reported that he was pounding on one of the building's plate-glass windows. St. George police spokesman Craig Harding said police arrived just as his feet were disappearing through a hole he had made in the glass.

Police found a maintenance worker who let them in the building where they found the 24-year-old man, described by Harding as "over 6 feet tall and well over 200 pounds," with his arms wrapped around the building's 'Christus' statue. When he threatened to attack officers, they used a taser gun, which sends an electric charge up to 15 feet, to subdue the man.

The attack left parts of the visitors center covered in blood from the man, who "cut himself quite badly," according to Harding. Among the cuts was one to the main artery of his left arm. The man, identified by the Deseret News but not by the Salt Lake Tribune because charges have not yet been filed, is in custody at Dixie Regional Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery and where he is recuperating.

According to Harding, damages to the center came from the broken window and from the man's blood, "They're going to have to reupholster a couch and a chair and replace 50 yards of carpet," he said. "The Christus monument is cleaning up OK, though." LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills said that the center would be closed for the repairs, "We expect the main visitors center to be closed through the weekend," Bills said. "The small visitors center annex will remain open, however."

The man, a St. George resident, faces a misdemeanor trespassing charge and felony criminal mischief charges because of the attack. According to investigators, drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the incident. And Church spokesman Bills speculates, "This was done by an individual whose motives may never be known," Bills said. "It appears to be a fluke kind of situation."


Naked Man Smashes Glass at LDS Building, Suspect critical after diving through hole
Salt Lake Tribune 4Aug01 D1
By Kevin Cantera: Salt Lake Tribune

Condition upgraded for St. George man
Deseret News 5Aug01 D1
By Nancy Perkins: Deseret News correspondent
He was found naked, bleeding inside center


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