FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Upside down crosses and a haunting phrase now adorn the Masonic Temple in Fort Collins.
Police released details about the vandalism of the historic edifice, saying the vandal used black spray paint to write "great tribulation is at hand."
Matthew Shamburger, a member of the lodge, power washed the spray paint from the steps and the concrete pillars. They weren’t just symbols that were painted onto the steps, but a reference to the Bible, he told Denver 7.
"Defacing religious or cultural gathering places is a particularly appalling act," Police Chief John Hutto said. "We need those with information to step up so the perpetrator can face consequences."
Officials say they believe whomever spray painted the temple's steps and pillars did so between the evening of April 2 and the morning of April 3.
Shamburger said there are several hundred members of the Masonic Lodge that meet twice a month or gather for activities, but it is not a place of worship.
“When you’re putting a message on a front of a building talking about pain and suffering and then put Satanic crosses up, it almost comes up like a threat,” he said.
He believes the fraternity is misunderstood as a religion.
“Last night after it was being cleaned up, we had two youth groups meeting here. And it’s unfortunate when some of them have to walk past this stuff and see those messages up there with their children,” Shamburger said.
For now, Shamburger he said the members will be cautious and hope that police can catch those responsible.
“Nobody here is going to let that stop us from doing what we’re doing. We are going to keep moving forward,” he said.
Police are describing the crime as bias-motivated. Anybody with information is asked to call police at (970) 221-6868, where those with tips can remain anonymous.