58-Arrests @ Burning Man This Year… | Sexual Assault, Assault w/ Deadly Weapon, Drugs, More

SnowBrains |
burning man, police, arrests,
Cops lined up at Burning Man.

Contrary to popular belief that there is no law enforcement at Black Rock City in the Nevada desert, this year’s Burning Man, which came to an end yesterday, resulted in 58 arrests. This is a marked increase on last year’s 43 and the same as the 58 in 2017.

Every year tens of thousands of people travel to the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada for a week-long festival that celebrates individuality, freedom, and total self-reliance. Creating one of the largest cities in Nevada for a week, Black Rock City ranges in population from 50,000 to 55,000 residents at its peak population times.

The first arrest was on August 22nd, a sexual assault, and arrests were still being made on Labor Day yesterday. Arrests will continue through the rest of September as some remain on the playa until later in the month.

burning man, arrests
Photo of 41-year-old Mitchell running into the flames at Burning Man. Credit: Reuters

Arrests by number, according to the Reno Gazette Journal:

Where from?

  • Thirty-two people were from cities in California, including nine from San Francisco.
  • People were arrested from 10 states including Nevada, California, New York, Florida, Idaho, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, and Massachusetts.
  • People were arrested from six countries: the United States, Israel, Australia, Switzerland, Egypt, and Lithuania.

What for?

  • Charges included misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and felonies. Most were for drug possession.
  • Bail amounts ranged from $640 for possession of drug paraphernalia to $500,000 for trafficking more than 28 grams of a controlled substance.
  • The 36-year-old arrested for sexual assault on Aug. 22 was booked on a felony charge and $150,000 bail.  He was the only person listed as a transient.
  • A 46-year-old from Fallon was arrested for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.
  • A 55-year-old man from Dayton was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.


  • People arrested ranged in age from 23 to 55, with 30 of the arrests being for people in their 30s.
  • Fifteen people between the ages of 23 and 29 were arrested.
  • Eight people were between 40 and 47 years old.
  • Five people were 50 or older.

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