LOGAN — A Smithfield man who police allege vandalized the Logan Utah Temple early Tuesday morning was charged with two felonies in relation to the case Thursday, according to court records.
Peter Abraham Ambrose, 34, was charged in 1st District Court with burglary, a third-degree felony, and criminal mischief, a second-degree felony. Court records show Ambrose had an initial appearance in court Thursday that was continued to Monday.
Meanwhile, the building reopened as scheduled for all ordinances Thursday, according to a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Police responded to a report of a burglary at the temple approximately 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to Logan police. Ambrose was arrested later that morning after temple workers found him in a locked room within the temple after police had initially responded. He was also identified through temple surveillance video, according to a police affidavit filed in 1st District Court.
The report stated that officers arrived at the temple and found broken glass near the east entry doors and windows. They also found multiple paintings “torn off the wall and damaged,” multiple artificial plants damaged and some of the curtains damaged, as well an ax “smashed through a mirror and stuck into the wall” and damage due to fire extinguisher residue, the affidavit states.
Workers were seen entering and exiting the temple with mirrors and other items, and glassworkers were already working to repair the damage Tuesday. Charging documents state the cost of damage exceeded $5,000.
The affidavit says that Ambrose admitted to police that he had damaged the items in the temple, including using a ladder to climb over a fence outside of the temple property and using an ax to break into the temple.
Court records show Ambrose pleaded guilty to criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor, in 2016 in relation to another incident at the Logan Temple. He also pleaded guilty to criminal mischief in 2014 that was later amended to a class C misdemeanor. In 2012, he pleaded guilty to criminal mischief, amended to a class A misdemeanor, and domestic violence in the presence of a child, a class B misdemeanor.
Folau Tupou, a Logan resident and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was among those who came to the temple Tuesday as crews cleaned up the mess.
“We feel sorry for him, feel sorry for what happened, especially the temple, the house of the Lord,” he said.