Potential Criminal Charges For Organizers Of Mass Halloween Gathering

Nov 2, 2020

Organizers of a large Halloween party could face criminal charges for hosting a mass gathering without a permit.

Utah County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a large party on the west side of Utah Lake, south of Saratoga Springs near the Knolls about 10 p.m. Saturday.

Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said "several thousand" people were in attendance, with the estimates from those who were there ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 people.

Investigators say the event was hosted by The Tribe Utah. Police say it was one of two parties in Utah County on Halloween night in which more than 1,000 people attended.

Utah Tonight and The Tribe Utah groups had advertised an event called "The Protest on Halloween," organizers posted on their flyers "gatherings are essential for public health".

Utah Tonight argues that the guidelines for managing gatherings in Utah are inconsistent and the rules for who can have an event are subjectively applied, and that the 18 to 25 age group is unfairly being singled out for spreading the virus.

Both Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah County Health Department on Sunday reacted to the party, again stressing that the social gatherings are still the main source of COVID-19 infections.

Health officials encouraged those who attended the event to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested.