Profane Sass screamed about ‘Park City rich bastards’ before arrests
July 24, 2012
Members of the band Profane Sass screamed phrases like "Park City rich bastards" and uttered vulgarities at the police before two of them were arrested on Main Street earlier in July, prosecutors claim in charging documents that offer a detailed telling of the law enforcement side of the confrontation.
Prosecutors filed three-page documents against the two Profane Sass members arrested on July 18. The two are charged with class A misdemeanor counts of interfering with a police officer making a lawful arrest. They are Tomas Garreton, 25, of Hillsboro, Ore., and Jeremy Sullivan, 33, of Portland, Ore.
According to the charging document, a police officer was called to the 500 block of Main Street, outside the Claim Jumper building, after a complaint was lodged about musicians soliciting without a license, blocking a sidewalk and acting in a disorderly manner. A Park City Building Department official told the police officer he had watched the group panhandling and blocking the sidewalk, the prosecutors said. The Building Department official told the group they needed a license and asked them to stop performing and leave, but the band ignored him, according to the charging document.
The confrontation quickly escalated as the police officer approached Garreton and told him to stop playing his guitar. Garreton did not stop, looked away and failed to respond to a second request by the officer, the prosecutors said. The officer touched the neck of Garreton’s guitar, prompting the musician to utter a profanity and then tell the officer "I can do whatever I want anywhere I want," according to the charging document.
"The other seven musicians began yelling, using vulgar language, and asking the crowd of onlookers to chant against the police. The group screamed about ‘Park City rich bastards . . . ,’" the prosecutors claim in the court filing.
Sullivan, meanwhile, began to circle behind the officer, the officer became worried about his safety and ordered Sullivan to move away, the prosecutors said, claiming Sullivan then yelled a vulgarity aimed at the police. The officer grabbed Sullivan’s arm in an effort to detain him, but the musician pulled away before the two wrestled, the prosecutors said. Garreton and someone else in the band wanted to intervene, but they were pushed away by the Building Department official, the court papers claimed.
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Other officers arrived and the group dispersed after two demands to do so. The officer involved in the struggle suffered abrasions to a forearm and a finger. A police sergeant who responded indicated he spoke to two nearby business owners, who told him the music was loud enough they needed to close the doors. An onlooker told the police the band members were "threatening" the officer who arrived first. The onlooker said he became "alarmed and decided to get his family away from the scene," the court filing said.
The two band members face more serious charges than is typical on an interfering count since more than one person was involved, the Summit County Attorney’s Office said. A typical interfering case is a class B misdemeanor, one notch below the enhanced class A level filed against Garreton and Sullivan. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by one year in jail and a $2,500 fine upon conviction.
The charges filed against the two differ than the ones they faced when they were booked into the Summit County Jail. The initial charges included rioting, a third-degree felony. Matthew Bates, the Summit County prosecutor who prepared the charging documents, said to secure a conviction on a rioting count he would have needed to show there were at least three people acting together, something that would be more difficult than proving the interfering charges.
Garreton and Sullivan were booked into the Summit County Jail the day of the confrontation and were released two days later. Bail had been set at more than $5,000 for each of them. Bates said prosecutors allowed them to be released after being issued a notice to appear in court instead of posting the bail.
Neither had entered pleas by Monday. They are both scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 10.
Other Profane Sass members were displeased with the situation at the time of the arrests, saying people were having fun as the band played on Main Street. One of the band members criticized the police response and claimed the Building Department official was overly aggressive.
A band member did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment about the formal charges. The group was in Park City to perform at a nightclub at Kimball Junction.