COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ)–A concert spirals out of control, taking the lives of two young men. They died after attending the Mad Decent Block Party electronic concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Now we’re hearing first-hand about the widespread commotion and drug use at the event.
Christie Ileto has more.
What was supposed to be a night of laser lights and pounding beats quickly took a tragic turn. Twenty were hospitalized while a teen and a college student were confirmed dead from suspected drug overdoses at the Mad Decent Block Party at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
The family of 20-year-old Tyler Viscardi said, “According to his close college friend who was with him, the afternoon was hot and he drank water that was given to him by others who were in the area. We believe this contained a substance, unbeknownst to him, to which he had a toxic reaction.”
“I was standing right next to some paramedics helping this one kid on the ground,” said fellow concertgoer Jake Armstrong.
Armstrong was at the music festival and noticed a quick change from those around him.
“Towards the end of the night, you could just see that everyone that was on drugs was obviously on drugs.”
Howard County police believe that substance could be MDMA, known as Molly.
“We do believe this is something that is commonly used at these types of music festivals,” said Sherry Llewellyn, Howard County police.
Merriweather isn’t the only stop. The concert travels across the country and investigators believe other venues may have seen similar problems at these events. In June, almost 40 people were hospitalized for drug-related overdoses at a Boston Avicii concert.
“They patted you down but it wasn’t super thorough,” Armstrong said.
Officials are now eying whether security and screening measures need to be tightened.
This is the Viscardi family’s entire statement:
“We are devastated by the sudden loss of our beloved Tyler. He was the victim of a terrible mishap. Details are not clear yet, but we know this much. He was attending a music festival in Maryland with some friends. According to his close college friend who was with him, the afternoon was hot and he drank water that was given to him by others who were in the area. We believe that this contained a substance, unbeknownst to him, to which he had a toxic reaction. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but the reaction proved fatal. This tragic accident has taken Tyler from us. He will always be in our hearts.”
Police also confiscated 60 fake IDs and cited 50 for underage drinking.
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