Library in polygamist town vandalized

ABC News 4, Utah/January 3, 2012

Colorado City, Arizona -- Another blow to efforts to open a public library in the polygamist community along the Utah - Arizona border. Vandals broke into the library building. Damage to the volunteer project is estimated at more than $10,000.

Pictures obtained by ABC 4 from Colorado City resident Andrew Chatwin show the ceiling of the main room is ripped out, dry wall and insulation cover the floor and at least two windows are damaged or gone -- frame and all.

The identity of those responsible is unknown, but it's not the first time the library has been vandalized.

In April of 2011, FLDS men were told to "clear out" the building by their leaders.

A "work crew" broke locks, tossed furniture and removed tens of thousands of donated books. Some of the books were burned, but many more were taken in a trailer and dumped at various charities around Southern Utah. Surveillance video from the Deseret Industries in Cedar City shows FLDS men delivering boxes of books.

"It's a no brainer to figure out who did it," said Isaac Wyler, one of a handful of residents of Colorado City who are not FLDS.

Wyler protested the ransacking of the library building to Colorado City town marshals, but was told it was a "civil matter." He told ABC 4, "If a non-FLDS person had gone into a place like that, they would have been cuffed and stuffed and put in Purgatory Jail real quick."

The book burning in April and now the vandalism inside the building seem to send a clear message: Anything from the outside world -- referred to as Babylon by the FLDS -- is not welcome in Colorado City.

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