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Man Who Assaulted Teen Zombies Enters Plea In Abeyance

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A Nevada resident who was arrested last September on Park City’s Main Street, for assaulting a group of teen girls, dressed as zombies for an Egyptian Theatre dance production—has entered a Plea in Abeyance Agreement in Third District Court.

The defendant, 56-year-old Drew Stephen Hyde, pled to two Counts of Assault, and apologized in court Monday morning to two parents who were present.

A Probable Cause statement filed last September 22nd said Hyde was arrested after he cursed and threatened the group of five young girls, ranging in age from 13 to 16, shoving or punching them.

Hyde said in subsequent media interviews that he was visiting with his 16-year-old daughter for her birthday and didn’t understand what was happening when he was surrounded by the girls, costumed as zombies for Odyssey Dance Company’s production of “Thriller.”

The girls suffered no major injuries, except for bruises.

Hyde was charged at first with five Counts of Child Abuse. The charges were later amended to two Counts of Assault.

The charges that Hyde admitted to were read by his defense counsel, Katherine Priest.

“September 22nd of 2018 Mr. Hyde in an alleyway by the Egyptian Theatre did attempt to punch and or kick two individuals.” Priest read.

“Ok and that such force would have resulted in substantial bodily injury?” Judge Patrick Corum asked.

Priest replied in the affirmative.

“Ok, is the state satisfied with the recitation of the facts?” Judge Corum asked.

Deputy County Prosecutor Blake Hills replied, “For the purposes of this resolution, yes.”

Judge Corum then addressed the defendant. “Ok, Mr. Hyde you understand those are the facts that do support a guilty plea in this matter, or guilty pleas in this matter and ultimately could form the basis of you being sentenced. Do you understand that?”

“Yes, sir” Hyde said.

“Is that what you did?” Judge Corum asked.

“Yes sir” Hyde replied.

Judge Corum explained to the defendant that the Plea in Abeyance period would run for 12 months. If Hyde complied with the conditions of the Plea, the charges would be dismissed.

If he failed, he could be sentenced, on each Assault charge, to upwards of a year in jail, and up to $5,000 in fines and fees.

The Plea in Abeyance stipulates that the defendant will pay $500 in court costs, in installments from next February to November, complete 25 hours of Community Service, and write letters of apology to the parents.

Hills said he had conferred with the parents, and almost all accepted the Abeyance Agreement.

“Two parents have told me they affirmatively support the resolution and want it to occur." Hills continued, "Three other sets have indicated that they are okay with the resolution. There is a set here and one of the parents here in the courtroom has indicated she opposes the resolution. She has indicated she is not wishing to speak.”

Hyde said that, against the advice of his attorney, he wanted to speak to the two parents who were in the courtroom.

“As a father of a 16-year-old that was with me that night." Hyde explained, "I know that if that happened to me and somebody did that to my child I would be equally upset. I’m not here to plead my innocence or anything else but I am regretful that I hurt, I didn’t know that they were children at the time because they were in makeup, but I regret hurting any human being and especially a child and especially a daughter a female, in costume I couldn’t tell. I am very regretful and sorry. I would never hurt a child intentionally, I coach youth sports, and I’m very sorry that I struck a child. Like I said I want to look whoever it is in the eyes and tell them that I’m sorry. That’s all I’m going to say, as father to father, parent to parent.”

A review of the Abeyance period is scheduled for early June.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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