SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A crowd at a popular Salt Lake City gay club is attacked by flaming projectiles.
Fernando Noriega explains to ABC 4 what happened early Thursday morning at Club JAM at 751 North 300 West. "So we had at least 30 to 40 people here,” said Noriega. “Everybody’s congregated to about here. All the tables were set up. It was very busy.”
Noriega says everyone was having a great time until something on fire came flying over the fence. "All the sudden we saw something bright,” said Noriega. “I thought they were fireworks on the floor."
The crowd quickly realized that wasn't the case when several more flaming devices went flying through the crowd. Firefighters haven't been able to identify what the devices were because nothing was left after they burned out. Noriega says he believes they were flares.
Noriega said, "Out of a group of 30 people, all of those flares to be hitting at the same time we don't know how, everyone was very lucky."
While some people put out the flames Fernando and a couple of others jumped over the fence to find those responsible. Noriega said, "As soon as they saw us and we shouted at them they just went screeching down Beck Street."
Fernando was able to get a good description of the three young men and the car they were driving, and he's not the only one, a neighbor across the street saw the whole thing from his front porch.
Regan Mower said, "Then I saw two or three flare or firework looking things flying over the patio at JAM.”
Mower had the perfect vantage point and says he saw the three men behind the dumpster across the street, but even as the flames started flying he couldn't believe his eyes.
"At first I just thought it was a practical joke,” said Mower. “Then I saw people screaming and running inside."
Both Mower and Noriega say there's no way you couldn't have known the patio was packed.
Noriega said, "Even from here you can't miss the fact there's lots of people there. You can hear the people; see the people so you know there are people in there. It was definitely malicious. They definitely knew what they were doing."
The suspects are described as white males in their late teens early 20s with blond, shaggy hair. They were driving a dark red or maroon Pontiac Grand Am. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.