It was the courage of some quick-witted gay men -- along with a measure of sheer luck -- that thwarted a potential tragedy early Thursday morning at club JAM (751 N. 300 West) when, according to Salt Lake City blogger Fernando Noriega, several lighted incendiary flares were launched onto a fenced-in patio during a popular Wednesday-night karaoke event.
Noriega's blog TheGayHotSpot.com reports that 30-40 individuals were on the patio when they were "pelted with what are believed to be at least 6 lit high-temperature flares." Miraculously, nobody was seriously burned -- the flames were soon doused by alert homosexual karaoke aficionados.
In the ensuing confusion, Noriega himself actually scaled the fence and caught a glimpse of three white males in the act of throwing flares -- and then, along with a nearby witness and other action-oriented JAM patrons, chased down the fleeing assailants, catching them at 800 North & 300 West, where Noriega and other witnesses identified the flare-bombers' vehicle as an early-'00s red Pontiac Grand Am.
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.
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.
Over the past several years, the Salt Lake City Police Department has been really quite effective and decent in its dealings with the LGBT community. So, my guess is that the mad bombers will be quickly apprehended and held to account for the property damage JAM sustained during the attack.
[Thanks to City Weekly writer & blogger Colin Wolf for the heads-up on this story.]