Sundance cop calls: missing swag, bathroom bodyguard, communist yell
The Park City Police Department over the years has responded to numerous oddball incidents during the Sundance Film Festival in addition to the traffic problems, the disorderliness and drunkenness that come with the 11-day event each year.
The department’s public police logs, sometimes known as the police blotter, each year shows officers sometimes are dealing with calls that would be considered mundane while at other times they may be sent to help a celebrity move about the crowds. The Police Department in 2010 was quickly made aware of graffiti that appeared just before the start of Sundance only to later learn the pieces were Banksy artworks. And the Police Department and the FBI in 2017 investigated a cyberattack during the busy opening weekend of Sundance that targeted the festival’s box-office operations.
Some of the cases in recent years that illustrate the zaniness of the festival include:
• Jan. 18, 2013 at approximately 4:30 p.m., when the Police Department received a series of calls about a man riding a camel on Main Street and Park Avenue. Officers found the man and the camel and determined the person was distributing fliers promoting a film that had not been selected as a Sundance entry. The police wrote the man a ticket on a count of obstructing traffic.
• Jan. 20, 2014 in the late morning, when a gifting suite on Main Street reported missing pairs of shoes. The police were told a hotel employee apparently told coworkers the shoes, which were brought to Sundance to be given to celebrities, were free for the workers. The police said 63 pairs of shoes, considered to be swag, were mistakenly given to the workers. The shoes, combined, were valued at $2,200, the police said. The Police Department indicated the case was resolved with law enforcement action.
• Jan. 25, 2015 at 12:44 a.m., when police officers were called to a Main Street nightclub. A woman who was suspected to be intoxicated would not leave the establishment and showed her breasts on a rear balcony. The woman was disorderly toward the nightclub staff and police officers as they attempted to subdue her.
• Jan. 19, 2014 at 3:07 p.m., when a passenger in a taxi reportedly refused to pay a $32 taxi fare along Prospector Avenue. The police were told the person did not want to pay since the charge was double the normal fare. The police said the case was civil rather than criminal in nature.
• Jan. 18, 2014 at 1:14 p.m. on Main Street, where someone was reported to be “yelling communist phrases out the windows.” The person was also soliciting money, the police were told.
• Jan. 16, 2014 at 1:55 p.m., when a goat was seen on a leash on Main Street
• Jan. 22, 2017 at 7:35 a.m., when the police were told 40 cases of beer and alcohol mixers were stolen in Park City the day before the call to the police. The Police Department indicated the case was civil rather than criminal in nature.
• Jan. 20, 2012 at 6:49 p.m., when City Hall staffers reported there was an “electronic saucer” on Main Street. The police were told the saucer might have been a deejay booth and there was concern someone would start “jamming.”
• Jan. 20, 2012 at 8:33 p.m., when the police logged a report that a person who appeared to be a bodyguard refused to let people into a public restroom on Main Street. It was not clear from public police logs who the person might have been protecting.
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The Coalville native doesn’t see any major roadblocks for this year’s fair, though presenting in front of the County Council is a little nerve wracking.