Chaos broke out on the night of Oct. 2 as party fever turned to panicked frenzy. Around 12:30 a.m., Ogden police lit up the corner of Grant Avenue and Historic 25th Street in response to reports of random attacks and a series of subsequent brawls.
As the bars entered their final hour and intoxicated patrons spilled out onto the sidewalks of 25th, an unidentified woman went on a rampage, assaulting bystanders seemingly at random.
One witness gave his account of the initial incident.
“We passed in front of Alleged, and right in front of Zucca, we see this woman, holding keys in her hand, walk up to a random stranger and punch her in the head while screaming obscenities and just generally being unpleasant,” said Cori McKenna, who was walking home from a night out at the time of the attacks. “(The victim) was on the ground seizing, bleeding from the head. There was a lot of blood, and I know head wounds bleed a lot, but there was a lot of blood. She got hit really hard — hard enough that she was awake but completely not. It was pretty bad.”
According to Lane Oberg, a security guard at Lucky Slice and a detective with the Bountiful Police Department, the woman attacked at least two people — a move that triggered the alcohol-fueled tensions of bystanders and resulted in a number of fights.
“From what I was able to figure out, there were seven or eight separate incidents all at the same time,” Oberg said. He emphasized that such a high number of incidents is not typical for the area.
“Arguments, fights, domestic disturbances you see all the time. One on one, two on one, sure. Maybe multiple a night. But where there’s so many fights that break out relating to a single incident — that’s not very common,” said Oberg.
In an effort to contain the scene, officers shut down Alleged, a popular bar, half an hour before its scheduled closing time.
While Ogden has been making a diligent effort in recent years to reduce crime rates, locals expressed mixed feelings about the efficacy of those endeavors.
McKenna, who works as a delivery driver for Lucky Slice, spends much of his weekend traversing the streets of downtown Ogden.
“A few years ago, we didn’t need a body guard at the Lucky Slice. We didn’t need security to prevent things from going very, very badly, but now we do,” McKenna said. He added that the security guard two years prior “dragged a man who stabbed another man out of the store.”
But Oberg insisted that this level of violence is rare and isolated, stating, “Most of the time, these types of incidents are sporadic, at least from what I’ve seen.”
However, Oberg did suggest that people remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings while out on the town. If violence does arise, he recommends that bystanders contact the authorities and move to a safer place.
“It’s easy to become involved in incidents, either as a bystander or getting too close. A lot of times, when the fights get big and tensions are high, innocent victims can be anywhere, and you can become a victim by staying and participating or staying and watching and filming,” Oberg said. “Errant punches, mistaken identity — there’s all kinds of things that can happen with a big, riled-up, drunk crowd like that, so it’s better to just stay away.”
This is especially important to remember as seasonal festivities get underway, Oberg added. “Halloween is usually a rough time of year,” he said.
As of Tuesday, there had been no arrests made in connection with this incident, and the Ogden City Police Department has not returned questions from The Signpost.