By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com August 16 2012 7:15 PM ET
A group of men launched several "flaming projectiles" into the patio area of a Salt Lake City gay bar Wednesday night, according to ABC 4 News, before fleeing the scene. There were no injuries, and police are currently investigating.
The incident occurred at approximately 12:30 a.m. during the nightclub JAM’s popular karaoke night. Witness Fernando Noriega estimated that between 30-40 people filled the outdoor space when the flares were thrown, and stated that it was “a miracle” no one was injured.
“At first I assumed someone on the patio was setting off fireworks for some reason and thought who would be crazy enough to do that in such a crowded area?” stated Noriega to local news blog thegayhotspot.com. “Then as soon as I realized it wasn’t and I could see them falling from above us, I knew what was happening.”
Reagan Mower, a neighbor whose apartment faces the bar, stated to police that he observed a group of men loitering by the parking lot prior to the incident. “Two or three of them then walked back behind a dumpster in the alley and that’s when I saw them throw the flares,” he said.
Noreiga and several other patrons pursued the assailants on foot, but the group escaped in a vehicle. Noriega described the men as blond, in their late teens or early 20s, and driving a red or maroon Pontiac Grand Am.
"It was definitely malicious," he told ABC. "They definitely knew what they were doing.
A call to the Salt Lake City police was not immediately returned. Anyone with information is urged to contact the SLCPD at (801) 799-3000.