Park City visitor arrested after confrontation with teens dressed as zombies on Main Street
The Park City Police Department in September arrested a man after a confrontation along Main Street with teens dressed as zombies, a case that is highly unusual even on a street that has a long history of oddity-style law enforcement matters.
The case was reported at about 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 22. The Police Department arrested Drew Hyde, 56 and a visitor from Henderson, Nevada. The Summit County Attorney’s Office later charged him with five counts of child abuse, each a class A misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $2,500 fine upon conviction.
The prosecutors say Hyde punched a 14-year-old, shoved a 16-year-old down stairs, grabbed a 16-year-old while pushing her down the stairs, grabbed a 15-year-old before pushing her down the stairs and punched a 13-year-old. All of the teens are girls, the prosecutors said.
A Police Department report indicates the teens were part of Odyssey Dance Theatre’s production of “Thriller” at the Egyptian Theatre. They were assigned to Main Street to act like zombies, scaring people as part of a promotion for the performance, the report says. The teens told the police the suspect shoved, grabbed and punched them during the confrontation. The report says an ambulance was called and some of the teens’ injuries were treated with ice.
The Police Department arrested Hyde on nearby Swede Alley. He told the police the teens were harassing his family, his daughter was scared and the teens were touching them. Hyde denied assaulting the teens, the police report says. The police arrested him and booked him into jail. The Police Department report noted Hyde is a former college football player who is 6 foot, 2 inches tall and weighs 215 pounds.
Hyde in an interview said the family was in Park City celebrating his daughter’s birthday. He said he was not aware of the “Thriller” performance.
“I was minding my own business walking to dinner,” he said, describing the teens as wearing “full zombie attire” and charging at the family. He said he acted in self-defense and in defense of his family.
Hyde provided The Park Record with a statement he drafted for his attorney. The statement, a little more than one page, said the daughter’s birthday celebration was planned at a Main Street restaurant. The family took a hotel shuttle that dropped them off in the Main Street core.
“Upon exiting the shuttle we walked through an alley and were confronted by a MOB of 10-15 people in full theatrical Zombie makeup and attire! My daughter screamed, cried and lost it. The Zombies came at us aggressively, some on all fours in an attempt to scare and intimidate,” the statement says.
One of them bumped him, prompting him to push them away in an act of self-defense, according to the statement. Another came at him while she was on all fours, the statement says, indicating he kicked at the person but missed. He yelled for them to stay away, Hyde says in the statement.
“My other son and wife were in front of me and begging them to stay away as well. I was separated from my daughter and another one was coming towards me in an aggressive manner and I raised my fist and warned her to stay the hell away from me as like any Father I was concerned about my kid,” the statement says.
The statement says the family was “ambushed.” They were “swarming, terrorizing and attempting to scare innocent people,” he says.
He says he was fired from a ridesharing firm as a result of the charges.
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