Park County Sheriff Breaks Up Boozy Bonfire & Saves Teen

Park County Sheriff Breaks Up Boozy Bonfire & Saves Teen

Written by on May 16, 2022

A busted bonfire of inebriated minors could have turned tragic if not for the skills and quick thinking of the Park County Sheriff’s Office.

On the night of Saturday, May 7th, Park County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were suspected a party involving alcohol was being held in the hills of Badger Basin off Highway 294. When the Deputies arrived, they observed a large bonfire with several minors standing around it.

When the partiers saw the patrol vehicles, they scattered. Many ran off into the hills. Those that stayed were interviewed. Citations were issued for any person underage and under the influence of alcohol.

Once safe rides were arranged for those who stayed, the Deputies agreed that they should search for the minors that ran away. Over the next hour and a half, Deputies walked over three (3) miles around the base of the hills but could not find anyone.

Deputies took the high ground to search for more runners – a decision that saved a life.

That night, the temperature into the 30s. In the high desert like Wyoming, people can succumb to the environment from hypothermia in temperatures as high as 60-70 degrees. Plus, those who stayed and those who ran away didn’t look appropriately dressed for such frigid temperatures.

While climbing on the top of a hill for a better vantage point, a Deputy spotted a male in the small ravine – not viewable from ground level. When the Deputies reached him, he was unresponsive and suffering from the beginning stages of hypothermia.

They requested a Powell Valley Healthcare ambulance for assistance. Before the ambulance arrived, they ascertained that the male was twenty years old.

Once he was more responsive, the male took a portable breath test. His blood-alcohol level was at .308%. The legal limit for driving in Wyoming is 0.08%. The male was subsequently arrested for being a minor under the influence of alcohol.

After five hours, all the minors who attended the bonfire were safe and accounted for.

Sheriff Scott Steward says, “thanks to the excellent dedication to the preservation of life, continuously displayed by Park County Deputies, this young man’s life was possibly saved. While some people think supplying alcohol to minors is a rite of passage, think of consequences, like this, before passing off booze to minors.”

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