The Utah County Attorney General’s Office announced today that nine individuals have been charged with public safety violations following a Halloween party near Utah Lake last fall.
The event was estimated to have been attended by around 10,000 people. The party was advertised at the time as “The Protest on Halloween” before the event was formally canceled by organizers. However, a large party still took place that evening.
Police were called to the event after reports of an attendee being injured crowd-surfing. There were also reports of several car accidents in the area that evening, though no one was seriously injured. The event was shut down when police arrived around 10 p.m.
In a press-only Zoom call on Monday, Utah County Attorney David O. Leavitt announced that nine individuals were being charged with a Class B misdemeanor as punishment for the event.
Beyond the nine individuals who were charged for the incident, formal organizers are also being held responsible for the violations. Both The Tribe, LLC; and Young and Dumb, LLC may have to pay a $10,000 fine for helping organize the event. Several members of these organizing companies were on the press-only Zoom call.
Leavitt said he struggled finding a balance between his role in enforcing health orders and allowing for freedom of speech and expression. “While we have seen many businesses reinvent themself so they can survive the pandemic, others have used the pandemic to profit on people by having them gather and put them at risk of COVID-19.”
Utah County is considered an area of high transmission for COVID-19. Utah health guidance recommends that gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer, with social distancing enforced.
Though the investigation is ongoing, Leavitt expressed a desire to make the charges public because the parties are still happening. Young and Dumb, LLC plans to have another party on Feb. 13. Masks are to be required but gathering recommendations will be violated.
Utahns are still expected to limit social gatherings for the time being.