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