Park City zombie case results in community service order
January 8, 2019
A Nevada man on Monday pleaded guilty in 3rd District Court to two counts of assault in a September case that involved a confrontation along Main Street with teen girls dressed as zombies.
Drew Hyde, 56 and from Henderson, Nevada, reached a plea bargain with Summit County prosecutors prior to the Monday court date. The assault counts are each class A misdemeanors. Hyde was ordered to perform 25 hours of community service, pay $500 in fees and write a letter of apology to the victims.
The plea will be held in abeyance for 12 months. The charges will be dismissed if he meets the terms of the sentence.
Prosecutors originally charged Hyde with five counts of child abuse, also class A misdemeanors. The charges were amended in November to reflect the assault counts.
Eric Benson, Hyde's attorney, said in an interview the plea bargain worked for the parties involved.
"I think everybody is satisfied. This is the best resolution," Benson said.
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The case stemmed from a highly unusual incident as the Odyssey Dance Theatre production of "Thriller" was underway at the Egyptian Theatre. The promotion for "Thriller" included performers, dressed as zombies, assigned to Main Street. The performers are meant to scare people as part of the promotional efforts, a Park City Police Department report about the case said. The "Thriller" performances run annually at the Egyptian Theatre.
Hyde, who once played college football, has said he was minding his own business while walking to dinner when the girls in zombie attire charged at he and his family, claiming he acted in self-defense. He has said in a written statement the family was "confronted by a MOB" of up to 15 people in zombie attire and makeup. He has also indicated in a written statement the Egyptian Theatre is "at fault as are the parents of the 'children' who were terrorizing the Public." Hyde has said he was fired from a ridesharing firm as a result of the case.
Benson acknowledged the case involved a "bizarre situation."
Hyde did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Prosecutors said he assaulted five girls between the ages of 13 and 16. A charging document filed against Hyde said he punched, pushed and grabbed the girls. He pushed three of them down stairs, the charging document said. A Police Department report indicated an ambulance was summoned. Some of the teens' injuries were treated with ice, the police said.
One of the teens, a 14-year-old, described the confrontation in a written statement to the Police Department. The statement said: "The guy was laughing and walking towards us then he threatened us. He said 'if you touch my daughter I will punch you.' I backed away and hissed and he punched me on the left cheek. Then he walked away."
Another teen, 16 years old, said in a written statement to the police she did not touch Hyde, but he "took me by the back of the neck and shoved me down the stairs."