UPDATED: Student faces 18 charges in Park City High School bear spray incident
The Summit County Attorney’s Office on Wednesday filed 18 criminal charges against a 17-year-old boy related to the release of bear spray at Park City High School that hospitalized one person and sickened more than a dozen others April 1.
The teen faces one second-degree felony count of criminal mischief; 16 class B misdemeanor counts of assault with a substantial risk of bodily injury; and one class B misdemeanor count of disrupting a meeting. The charges were filed in 3rd District Juvenile Court.
The Park Record is not naming the teen because he is a minor.
The release of the spray, which occurred shortly after classes had ended for the day, triggered an evacuation of the school. Medical personnel treated 14 people on scene for respiratory distress, and one person was transported to the hospital.
Officials on the day of the incident said a student admitted to releasing the irritant.
The spray was released in the lecture hall, hours before the school’s Turning Point Club was set to host an event there featuring a speaker from Prager University, a conservative nonprofit organization. The Turning Point Club is the local chapter of a national organization that aims to promote conservative ideas. The event was moved to Ecker Hill Middle School due to the incident.
School officials have declined to provide information about the student’s motive for releasing the spray. Students in the Turning Point Club, however, say the incident may have been targeted at them.
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“I think one of the things that really, really, really scares … us is knowing that there are go-to docs that they can send out saying a student or a teacher or a staff member died,” said union co-president Julie Hooker.