Taylorsville Days celebration marred by violence; dozen treated for exposure to pepper spray

Unified firefighters and medical personnel attend to a dozen people who were stricken by bear spray while attending the annual Taylorsville Days gathering Saturday, June 24, 2017. Photo: Gephardt Daily/SLCScanner

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah, June 25, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — It’s happened again.

For the second time in as many weeks a large public celebration in the Salt Lake Valley has been marred by violence.

The latest incident took place Saturday night about 11:34 p.m. when a dozen people were overcome by bear spray at the Taylorsville Days gathering in Valley Regional Park.

Eyewitnesses told Gephardt Daily a group of teens were squaring off for a fight when one of them unleashed a canister of the spray — a concentrated form of mace designed to ward off bear attacks.

At least 12 people were left gasping for air and required medical treatment. Dozens more scattered as the spray made its way through part of the crowd.

Unified Fire Authority Battalion Chief Duane Woolsey told Gephardt Daily six of those who were overcome were taken to an area hospital for treatment. Six others were treated at the scene.

Law enforcement and medical units from across the Valley responded to the park where thousands had gathered throughout the day to ring in the first official weekend of summer.

This is the second such gathering to be marred by violence this June. On June 16, three people were hospitalized with stab wounds after a series of fights at West Valley City’s WestFest.

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