Questions Raised Whether Raided Party Needed Commission Approval

Questions Raised Whether Raided Party Needed Commission Approval

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- One of the justifications offered by the Utah County sheriff's office for raiding a gathering in Spanish Fork Canyon Saturday night was that sponsors failed to get a mass-gathering permit from the County Commission.

Organizers had obtained a permit from the county Health Department, which meant complying with regulations regarding portable toilets, food and other health concerns.

But the county code also mandates a security-related permit for any "anticipated assembly of 250 or more people which continues or can reasonably be expected to continue for 12 or more consecutive hours."

The party, which sheriff's officers said was a rave, began at 9 p.m. Saturday in the Diamond Fork area. More than two hours later, 90 law enforcement officers from various agencies, including fully armed SWAT team members, swarmed the crowd of roughly 300.

They issued 60 citations, confiscated a pile of drugs and other contraband and cleared the area -- using methods many partygoers described as brutal.

Event promoter Brandon Fullmer of Salt Lake City-based Uprock Records said the party was scheduled to conclude at 6:30 a.m. Sunday -- short of the 12-hour period requiring the security permit.

"I didn't need a permit," Fullmer said. "What they did was wrong. And there will be justice."

An attorney for Fullmer and landowner Trudy Childs has filed requests for all related documents from the health department, county attorney and commissioners.

Sheriff Jim Tracy said authorities reasonably expected partygoers to linger to 9 a.m. and beyond.

"People are up all night partying hard and have a camping area," he said. "If you've been up since 9 o'clock the night before, we are assuming you're not going to jump right up and get out of there, and will exceed the 12 hour period."

Security personnel and the sound technician from Salt Lake-based Performance Audio said they were contracted for the time period cited by Fullmer.

Jay Stone, the county Health Department's food program manager, said that agency's permits are being changed to require signatures "from the sheriff and the fire marshal and others, so we can be sure they've taken care of all they need to."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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