“I don’t remember,” Erica Mack said Monday. “I don’t remember the incident.”READ MORE: 2 Doral Police Officers Injured In Shooting Near Miami-Dade Police Headquarters; Suspect Killed ID'd By Police
It’s probably best that Mack has no memory of the night that she was critically injured while working a security gig at the controversial Ultra music fest at Miami’s Bayfront Park.
On March 28th, the first night of the event, Mack was trampled by a mob that pushed down a flimsy fence she was guarding. It was a crowd of young people who breached a weak stretch in the fence surrounding the electronic concert attended by hundreds of thousands of people over three days.
The festival was marked by arrests, drug overdoses and gate crashers.
“I definitely suffer from headaches,” Mack said in an interview with CBS4’s Gary Nelson on Monday. This is the first time she has spoken publicly about the night she was hurt.
Headaches would be understandable. Her skull was cracked in two places.
“There was bleeding on the brain, and I also was bleeding out of my ears,” Mack said.
Her left leg was busted in three places. A toolbox worth of screws and nuts and rods hold it all together now. She walks with a pronounced limp and is still in rehab.
In a lawsuit she’s suing the promoter and others she claims failed to protect her.
Ultra issued a statement saying “despite our best efforts to continue to provide a safe and enjoyable event…certain criminal acts will always be beyond our control…”
But the promoters not only controlled the fencing around the festival, the city told Ultra to beef up the stretch that lead to Mack’s trampling.
Two days after the episode, Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa called a news conference to announce Ultra organizers did not follow their instructions.READ MORE: Shot Doral Police Officer In Serious But Stable Condition, Second Officer Recovering
“We brought it to their attention. We told them, look, this area of the fencing is weak, you need to secure it better,” Orosa said at the time.
“They were warned by the city of Miami police that this was a very vulnerable point,” Mack’s attorney, Eric Isicoff said Monday. “They needed to beef it up. And the rest is history.”
Mack’s suit also claims Ultra didn’t hire enough cops.
Miami City Commissioners met in April to consider kicking Ultra out of town. A video was played of a knockdown, drag out melee going on in the front of the main stage and there was no police officer to be seen
Mack says she suffers anxiety, is fearful of crowds and worries she might freak out.
“I’m afraid that I might have an episode of some sort,” she said.
She wants Ultra to feel pain – in their pockets – to avoid any more people getting hurt. Her suit asks for damages in excess of $10,000,000. Ultra’s promoters are named in the suit, as is the fencing company, vendors and the city of Miami.
Attorney Isicoff said he feels the promoters are, in the end, responsible and that they can battle with the other defendants over who will pay what when Mack’s lawsuit is concluded.
Ultra is set to return to Miami next year after promising to hire more cops and security, reinforce the fencing and, most recently, making it an adults only affair – no one under 18 admitted.
Mack says there is one thing for which she is grateful.
“This could have definitely ended in a different way,” she said. “I could have been killed.”
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