ST. GEORGE – Police were sent to the St. George LDS Temple early Saturday after a man broke in through a window and proceeded to damage furniture and artwork inside.
- Update 3 p.m. Police have confirmed the identity of the man alleged to have vandalized the St. George LDS Temple.
- Update 2:30 p.m. This report has been revised with photos of the temple and additional information about the incident from a temple worker.
The man entered the temple around 5 a.m. and made it to the fifth floor, causing additional damage along the way, said Eric Hawkins, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The man was contained on the fifth floor by temple workers and was ultimately taken into custody by St. George Police officers.
Police identified the intruder Saturday afternoon as 22-year-old Charles Gregory Logan, of St. George.
Preliminary charges Logan faces include felony offenses for criminal mischief and burglary, as well as misdemeanors for assault, interfering with an arrest and disorderly conduct.
The incident required the temple to be closed for a brief period, but it has since resumed normal operations.
Mary Kessler, a temple worker on the Saturday morning shift, said she saw police at the entry to the temple when she arrived a little before 5 a.m. She, along with other temple workers and patrons, were asked to wait in the foyer for a time by police.
“They said there was an intruder in the temple, that he was upstairs somewhere,” she said.
The temple workers and patrons were eventually told to wait in the temple’s chapel area where they remained until around 6:20 a.m. During that time, they were given a little more information about what was going on.
“They told us (the intruder) had entered into the temple through a window in the sisters’ ordinance dressing room,” Kessler said, adding that a temple worker who had been in the room noticed the man and asked if he needed help.
At the time, the temple worker was unable to tell if the intruder was male or female due to his look, she said.
The encounter appeared to spook the man, and he ran up to the temple’s fifth floor via a spiral staircase.
“Up there he did quite a bit of damage,” Kessler said. “He broke chairs and tables and lamps and windows.”
The man’s rampage came to an end when some of the temple workers contained him on the fifth floor and police took him into custody.
The intruder had bloodied himself from breaking furniture and busting out windows, Kessler said, adding that the blood got on the temple workers who she said “took him down.”
“He was bloody and they were bloody and the police came and they got him,” she said.
The man was subsequently taken by police to Dixie Regional Medical Center for a medical check.
While the 6 a.m. session at the St. George LDS Temple was canceled due to the short-lived mayhem, it was soon business as usual at the temple, which on a Saturday typically involves a busy schedule and a lineup of temple marriages.
While temple workers and patrons were waiting in the temple’s chapel, Kessler said one of the workers started playing the organ while another got up and led the group in singing church hymns.
The LDS church believes the temple to be the house of God and that regular attendance spiritually strengthens church members.
In order to attend the temple, church members must pass two separate interviews with church officials who establish they are “in good standing,” before being issued a temple recommend that must be displayed at the entrance of any temple before being allowed to enter.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
Ed. Note: The temple worker, Mary Kessler, is related to the author of this report.
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