Ultra Organizers Launch Security Review After Gate Crashers Leave Guard Critically Hurt
South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — ULTRA Music Festival organizers have launched a comprehensive review into the event’s security procedures, days after a guard was trampled when un-ticketed festival crashers rushed a fence to gain entry into the popular electronic dance music extravaganza in Bayfront Park.
“Internally, we’re doing a top to bottom review of what tranpsired and what people are saying,” said Rodney Barreto, a spokesperson for the event. “Right now we’re hoping that people don’t rush to judgment.”
Barreto’s public relations and lobbying firm represents ULTRA
He said organizers will work with the Miami Police Department to find ways to improve security outside the gates to prevent future incidents.
On Friday night, security guard Erica Mack suffered a brain injury and a broken leg when people toppled a gate to get into the event without proper credentials.
“These events attract a lot of people. A lot of people can’t afford to buy tickets. And so they’re going to look for the weak link in the security perimeter and they’re going to do what they did,” Barreto said.
According to figures from Barreto’s office, ULTRA deployed 257 officers each day, 49 more per day than last year.
Eighteen undercover cops were on hand, including representatives from Homeland Security and the DEA, a statement released Wednesday indicated.
Twelve additional bike details were utilized each day and 8 foot security fencing and double fencing was used around the venue.
But the Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa questioned the strength of the fencing in the aftermath of Friday’s mayhem.
“We brought it to their attention,” Chief Orosa said. “We told them, ‘Listen, this area of the fence is weak. You need to secure it better’.”
Erica Mack is recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
She is represented by attorney Eric Isicoff.
“There were appropriate measures that could have been taken that should have been taken, and weren’t,” Isicoff explained.
Baretto said it’s too soon to play the blame game.
“We’re not denying anything at this point,” Barreto said. “We’re doing our own internal investigation.”
Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff hope to do away with the music festival in 2015, despite the roughly $80 million it brings annually to the local economy.
CBS 4 News obtained a copy of the contract showing the event is allowed use of Bayfront Park through 2018.