LEHI, Utah, Nov. 22, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Charges have been filed against a 19-year-old man who hosted a large Halloween party in a warehouse in Lehi.
Scott Brown is facing charges of disorderly conduct; creating, contributing to, or supporting a public nuisance; violating health regulations and unsafe conditions, court documents state.
As Gephardt Daily reported at the time, police responded to a noise complaint in Lehi’s warehouse district in the area of 401 S. 850 East and found an estimated crowd of 2,000 partygoers, indoors, in close quarters, with few, if any, wearing masks or social distancing.
The event in Lehi had been previously promoted on social media as the “Frightmare Frenzy,” with tickets being offered at $15 a head. The ad indicated masks were required, but it appeared the rules were not enforced.
Spokesman for Unified Command Joe Dougherty issued the following comments to Gephardt Daily Sunday: “Slowing the spread of COVID-19 takes the entire community: law enforcement, public health, elected officials and individuals.
“Lehi City made an important decision to enforce a public health order. It was a local decision, as are almost all law enforcement or public health enforcement decisions.
“Under the public health order, event hosts are required to have attendees wear masks and stay at least six feet apart from people not of their household.
“Our hospitals are getting overcrowded. And we will soon see degraded healthcare for people who need it most.”
A statement from Lehi police Friday added that police reported that they were able to get the crowd to disperse and shut down the party without incident.
The warehouse event was one of two large Halloween parties in Utah County this year.
Another gathering was held on the west side of Utah Lake in an area called the Knolls. Sgt. Spencer Cannon, public information officer for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, told Gephardt Daily the event, also on Halloween night, drew a crowd of 5,000 to 7,000 partygoers. The party was dubbed “The Protest on Halloween’ by organizers. That gathering is under investigation by the Utah County Attorney’s Office.
The Utah County Health Department issued a statement condemning the mass gatherings.
The statement reads, in part:
“As we struggle in our local and state-wide communities to contain the COVID-19 virus and mitigate its impact on our communities, it is unfortunate that some would ignore public health and medical guidance and plan and participate in an event that would allow for the ready spread of the disease between individuals which can be taken back by individuals to our communities and infect others who are trying to follow public health and medical recommendations.
“The organizers of the Halloween Protest are encouraging the direct opposite of public health and medical guidance. They claim they want to get life ‘back to normal.’ Their actions and the actions they are encouraging will cause further increases in COVID-19 cases and push the time of ‘back to normal’ that much further away.
“The actions of the organizers and attendees are dangerous to themselves, our communities, our healthcare system, and our efforts to combat COVID-19.”
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.