by Christopher Hodapp
UPDATE 5/21/20 at 6:25PM:
THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED TO REFLECT NEW INFORMATION. DRIVER WAS NOT ARRESTED AND CLAIMED IT WAS ACCIDENTAL.
The Salt Lake City Masonic Temple was damaged Monday night when a man rammed his car into the rear entrance of the building. Police ticketed the driver for 'trespassing', not related to the crash. He told police it was accidental, but preliminary reports indicate he is an expelled Mason, originally from Missouri, who has had "past history" with Masons in Utah. Leadership representatives from the Temple Association and Grand Lodge are working with police, and additional charges may be filed.
According to a notice on the Grand Lodge of Utah Facebook page from Grand Master Clay G. Hamblen, their legal counsel is pursuing steps to protect the fraternity from future attacks and harassment by him.
GM Hamblen goes on to say,
It does serve as a reminder, that each of us must be aware of our surroundings and that there are individuals that have an unusual fascination with our organization. Be aware of who attempts to gain entrance into one of our buildings. Are you regularly checking on your building? Is your building being maintained?
Once the buildings are reopened, I would encourage you to lock the exterior door when going into a meeting. I would discourage inviting [someone] to a before-meeting meal [and to first] meet people and get to know them. I completely understand the reasons for doing this, but from a safety standpoint, it should not be done.
It is unfortunate that we have to think about safety in simply going to a lodge meeting, but safety is everyone’s responsibility and we must be aware of who is coming to our buildings not only for our own safety, but that of every member of our Masonic Family.