SWAT teams shut down the music.
About 90 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies broke up what they
said was a rave party
on public and private property in the Diamond
Fork area of Spanish
Fork canyon, an hour outside of Salt
Lake City, Utah, at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday (5:30 Sunday UTC).
According to the county, the Sheriff's Office had been investigating similar
parties since the beginning of the season. In a press release from the Sheriff's
Office in Utah County, the department claims that previous allegations of sexual
abuse at other raves, as well as various firearm and theft violations, were
reason for the investigation. The release continues to state that the proper
permit was not obtained before the party started.
Police clear out the event and question attendees.
Armed with assault rifles and tear gas, the police used dogs to sweep the crowd
for narcotics. At least one helicopter was used in the operation. The scale of
the police response was apparently due to the ineffectiveness of a smaller force
used in the previous "Sequence Five" rave. Prior to dispersing the partiers,
several police informants had reportedly infiltrated the rave and observed widespread
The promoter says the party took place on private property, named Child's Ranch,
with express permission from the owner. The property owner has apparently had
at least one previous run-in with police over a similar event. Utah
County requires a permit, bond and county commission approval for all gatherings
with more than 250 people present. According to a DJ at the event, "They
presold 700 tickets and they expected up to 3,000 people total." He added
that by the time police arrived "the crowd was about 1500 people thick".
The police have publicly stated that only a permit from the health department
was obtained, and that a Utah mass gathering permit was needed. The promoters
deny this allegation. They have stated that they had the required permit, and
have given a permit number (# 2005-11). Officials also claim that the party
had spilled over onto public land. Police reported in local press that more
than 60 arrests were made for weapons offenses, driving under the influence
of alcohol or drugs, underage drinking, drug possession and distribution, resisting
arrest, assault on a police officer, and disorderly conduct. Officers claim
to have found cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, mushrooms, alcohol, and large amounts
of drug paraphernalia. Some of the drugs may include those confiscated from
partiers by security guards
Police arrest partygoers.
Amateur video from the scene shows a number of SWAT police (estimates are at 90)
screaming orders at the DJs to "Shut it down now!" and yelling at others
to "get out now, or I'll kick your ass in jail." Armed police are also
seen tackling a number of rave-goers, and it is unclear from the video footage
whether these attendees attempted to attack the police. Based on the low resolution,
automatic lighting adjustment, and low audio quality, the video appears to have
been taken with an amateur device.
A first hand account from a DJ booked to play at the party stated that while
police were arresting a man accused of narcotic possession, the suspect was
beaten to the ground and continually "kicked in the ribs" by four
armed "soldiers" dressed in camouflage. According to the account,
nobody resisted the policemen, but tear gas was thrown at the partiers as they
attempted to leave. The DJ also states that police were attempting to confiscate
video equipment, but an amateur video has still surfaced on the internet (see
Police arresting more attendees.
Several partygoers felt they should have the right to attend a rave where drugs
are being used, so long as they don't personally use them. "While it may
be true that some individuals choose to take drugs at said events like this,
myself as well as many others choose to go for the music. Just like anything,
you have bad apples, but you shouldn't cut down the tree," said one attendee.
"Raves are not the only musical gatherings where drugs are used and distributed,"
Other partygoers felt that the use of force in the shutdown was excessive -
numerous eyewitness accounts by concertgoers describe people being beaten, tasered,
or attacked with dogs. One account from an attendee, identified as "Colby",
A SWAT team officer orders the video-taker to shut off their camera.
"I saw at least two people being beaten on the ground while barking, snarling
dogs are held just a few feet from them. Weapons were being pointed at unarmed,
peaceful civilians. A friend of mine was forced at gunpoint to put his hands on
his head and turn around, because he asked if he could get his things from the
Utah County sheriff's Sergeant Darren Gilbert said a 17-year-old girl was found
overdosed on ecstasy, and was treated and released to her parents. Multiple
lawsuits are being threatened against the city. According to an advertisement
for the event, an attorney was present at the party. The local sheriff is scheduled
to appear on Utah TV following a number of complaints being sent to TV stations
and the police.
An injury allegedly sustained during the raid.
(Flash Video format with sound)
video (MOV format with sound)
video (WMV format, no sound)
KSL Channel 5 News Report