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Flaming projectiles aimed at gay nightclub in Salt Lake City

Friday, August 17, 2012
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SALT LAKE CITY — Police and fire investigators In Salt Lake City are actively seeking the identities of three or four people in their late teens or early 20s who launched flaming projectiles at Club JAM, a gay patronized nightclub located north of the Capitol Hill neighborhood in downtown.

Jasen Asay, a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Fire Department, said that about 12:35 a.m. Thursday, unknown suspects launched multiple flaming projectiles at Club JAM, setting fire to a nearby fence.

Club JAM, Salt Lake City, Utah.

While some of the club’s patrons extinguished the fence fire with water-filled pitchers, others gave chase to the suspects who fled in a dark red or maroon late model Pontiac Grand Am sedan.

Asay said that arson investigators weren’t sure what was shot or thrown at the club because all of the items had completely burned.

He added that investigators also aren’t sure if the culprits were patrons at the club or launched the items from the street. There were no injuries reported, and no motive has been established.

Local LGBTQ blogger Brandon Burt writes on “Salt Lake City Blogs” that club management are referring to the incident as a “prank:”

JAM management is generously characterizing the event as a juvenile prank rather than an actual terrorist attack — which means it’s perfectly safe for bar patrons to go back and have a good time at this very nice club.

At the same time, once these flare-tossing muttonheads are brought to justice, it could end up being a decent motivation for updating Utah’s anemic hate-crime statute that, so far, fails to include sexual orientation as a protected class.

As it turns out, the dumbass attackers had such poor aim, they not only failed in their attempt to cause serious burns and injuries among the gay men occupying the patio, but even failed to disrupt the evening’s karaoke event — which, with characteristic sang-froid, JAM patrons soon resumed.

A spokesperson for the Salt Lake City police declined to comment citing that the incident was under investigation.

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