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Teen dancers dressed as zombies assaulted in Park City

Drew Ste

PARK CITY — Five teenage girls were assaulted on Park City’s Main Street while dressed as zombies to promote a theater production, police say.

According to Park City police, the girls were promoting Odyssey Dance Theater’s annual “Thriller” performance in front of the Egyptian Theatre at 328 Main St. They were dressed as zombies and interacting with pedestrians in attempts to scare them.

But their attempts to spook Drew Stephen Hyde, 56, may have worked too well — according to a Summit County Jail booking report, Hyde responded by punching and shoving the girls. Police reports also include several instances of verbal intimidation, including comments like “if you touch my daughter I will punch you,” and “if you (expletive) touch me I will knock you out.”

All the girls were checked by a medical team, according to police reports, and no major injuries except bruises were noted.

Hyde told the Park Record that he was visiting from Henderson, Nevada to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. He claims his family was “mobbed” by zombies that terrified his wife and children, and that he acted in self-defense.

“Like any father, I was concerned about my kid,” Hyde said.

The incident occurred on Sept. 22. Hyde was arrested and charged in the 3rd District Court with five counts of child abuse, a class A misdemeanor. According to court records, Hyde was due to make his first appearance in court last Thursday.

Odyssey founder and artistic director Derryl Yeager said in a prepared statement that he was aware of the incident.

“It is unfortunate, and we are sorry that it occurred. We don’t know the facts or the details of the case but, since it is a criminal matter being taken before the court, we don’t want to speculate and potentially undermine the process. However, we have full faith that the criminal process will take its course, and justice will be done.”