In troubling night, three suspected overdoses reported at Park City club |

In troubling night, three suspected overdoses reported at Park City club

by Jay Hamburger, THE PARK RECORD

It was a little bit before 11 p.m. on Jan. 17 when the Park City Police Department was called to Main Street’s largest nightclub.

Staffers at Park City Live discovered an unconscious man at 10:39 p.m. He was having difficulty breathing, the police said in an online posting afterward. A drug overdose was quickly suspected.

Less than two hours later, at 12:11 a.m. on Jan. 18, emergency personnel were again called to Park City Live. It was to respond to someone who apparently drank too much alcohol. But while the police were there, officers were summoned to a side door. A different man "was experiencing convulsions," the Police Department said in an online statement. The case was suspected to be a drug overdose, the statement said.

A little more than an hour later, the police were again at Park City Live to respond to a suspected drug overdose. It was 1:25 a.m. and, according to the Police Department’s online statement, staffers at the nightclub found a man "who was experiencing extreme nausea and was overheating." He was incoherent, the statement said.

It is uncommon for the Police Department to respond to three suspected drug overdoses in such a short amount of time. It is even rarer that the cases are reported at the same place.

"It is concerning," Phil Kirk, a police captain, said.

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Kirk said each person was taken to Park City Medical Center. Further medical information was not available. Kirk provided some details about the cases in an interview. According to Kirk:

  • the report at 10:39 p.m. on Jan. 17 involved a 25-year-old man from Orem. He was found at a side entry to Park City Live. An ambulance took him to the hospital. Kirk said the Police Department suspects the man took a drug called GHB, which is considered a date rape drug since it can sometimes lead to a user passing out. The police also said the man could have consumed alcohol. Kirk said the man stabilized at Park City Medical Center.
  • the case at 12:11 a.m. on Jan. 18 involved a 25-year-old man from Draper. He was found in a hallway in the nightclub and taken to Park City Medical Center in an ambulance. The man was in serious condition when he left in the ambulance, the online statement said. Kirk did not have further information about his condition. Kirk said the police suspect the person took GHB.
  • the report at 1:25 a.m. on Jan. 18 involved a 23-year-old man from the Southern California city of Murrieta. Kirk said the case is a suspected overdose. The police were not immediately sure what sort of drug the person may have taken. Kirk said the man was found semiconscious in a hallway. An ambulance took him to the local hospital. The police did not have details about his condition.

    "Extremely concerning, even to have one overdose, especially having three within hours of each other," Kirk said, adding, "Our officers were extremely concerned that we have three individuals overdosing with possible life-threatening reactions."

    Kirk said the Police Department sent a sample of the substance suspected to be GHB to a state lab for analysis. The sample was found in the clothes of one of the three people taken to the hospital, he said. Results from the lab were not available by late in the week. Kirk said the police investigation is continuing as well.

    He said the Police Department recently stepped up its routine checks of nightclubs along Main Street. The increased checks are not in direct response to the suspected overdoses at Park City Live, though, he said.

    Park City Live is the largest nightclub along Main Street. It is situated in the same space where Harry O’s once operated. A Park City Live official said the nightclub held a customer-appreciation event with a disc jockey on the night of the three cases. Tickets were $5, well below the price charged on many other nights.

    Dustin Esson, who handles marketing and books acts at Park City Live, was there that night, saying lower-priced tickets drew a younger audience than is typical. He said Park City Live wants to determine whether the three people were together.

    Esson said Park City Live plans to monitor the situation. The nightclub would evaluate its customer base and security procedures if there are additional cases, he said. He said Park City Live is a safe nightclub.

    "It’s not something we take lightly," he said.