Park City zombie confrontation may be settled with plea bargain
Summit County prosecutors in mid-November filed an amended charging document against a man who was involved in a September confrontation along Main Street with teen girls dressed as zombies, a step that could signal the possibility of a plea bargain in the case.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office originally charged Drew Hyde, 56 and from Henderson, Nevada, with five counts of child abuse, each a class A misdemeanor. The office amended the charging document to reflect two counts of assault, also each a class A misdemeanor.
The prosecutors and Hyde are attempting to negotiate a plea agreement, Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson said on Tuesday. She declined to provide details about the negotiations. Hyde has not entered a plea.
“We are actively trying to reach a resolution that will be in the interest of justice,” Olson said in an interview.
She said her office filed the amended charging document in anticipation of the sides reaching a plea agreement. Olson said she hopes to complete the negotiations about a plea agreement prior to a Jan. 7 court date for Hyde. If an agreement is not reached, there is a possibility the case will be amended again to reflect the original charges, she said.
Olson declined to discuss whether she will insist on a recommendation to the judge for a jail sentence as part of the negotiations with Hyde’s side.
Should the sides not reach an agreement, they would proceed toward a preliminary hearing. A judge would decide whether to bind Hyde over for trial at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing.
The charges followed an especially unusual confrontation along Main Street during the annual Odyssey Dance Theatre production of “Thriller” at the Egyptian Theatre.
Prosecutors said in a charging document Hyde assaulted five girls between the ages of 13 and 16. He punched two of the girls and pushed three of them down stairs, the prosecutors said. The Park City Police Department said in a report an ambulance was called and some of the teens’ injuries were treated with ice. The police arrested Hyde on nearby Swede Alley.
Hyde has told The Park Record his family was in Park City to celebrate his daughter’s birthday and he was unaware of the “Thriller” performance. The Odyssey Dance Theatre production of “Thriller” included performers assigned to Main Street as part of a promotion for the show. The performers dress and act like zombies in an effort to scare people as part of the promotion, the Police Department report said.
Hyde has said he was minding his own business while walking to dinner when the girls in zombie attire charged at him and his family. He has said he acted in self-defense and in defense of his family. Hyde has said in a written statement the family was “confronted by a MOB” of between 10 and 15 people in zombie attire and makeup. The written statement said the Hyde family yelled and begged for the people to stay away.
An attorney representing Hyde was not available for comment on Tuesday.
Becca Gerber, a first-term member of the Park City Council who is seen as bringing a younger person’s perspective to the Marsac Building, will seek reelection this year.