Haunted Coliseum Shut Down by Authorities,up to 100 Hospitalized
The "Haunted Coliseum" event at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, New York, was shut down by local authorities last night, and up to 100 people were hospitalized after falling ill. Read the full details below.
Tragedy has struck a massively lauded event in Long Island, New York, as police reportedly shut down the "Haunted Coliseum" event at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum after multiple 911 calls reported intoxicated, underage partiers.
The official Nassau County police report states:
"According to detectives, during a Rave concert at the Nassau Coliseum several 911 calls were received for intoxicated youths. While Detectives and Officers were at scene investigating as many as 100 intoxicated youths between the ages of 14 and 18..."-Nassau County Police
The event, which was to feature performances by Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso, and Otto Knows, was reportedly shut down by fire officials shortly after its designated 9:00PM start time. The bulk of the evening's performances had not yet taken place when the event was halted by authorities, to the dismay of many concertgoers.
Emergency personnel seemingly struggled to handle the volume of intoxicated individuals requiring immediate medical attention, and at 10:30pm, reportedly requested assistance from two neighboring counties to control the "large unruly crowd."
Eventually, authorities were able to muster enough emergency personnel to transport all of the intoxicated individuals, though they had to be routed to multiple hospitals. According to the police report:
"The intoxicated youths were transported to several Nassau County hospitals by Nassau County, Fire Department and private hospital ambulances."
-Nassau County Police
Despite initial reports that two people had lost their lives at the event, official sources indicate that no fatalies have been reported. An official statement from police early this morning stated, in part:
"There are no reports of fatalities at this time. Conditions of the aideds are unknown."-Nassau County Police
This outlet again contacted the Nassau County Police Information Office at the time of this posting regarding the reported deaths. Nassau County Police Spokesman, Officer James Imperiale stated, "No. We have no reports of any fatalities."
However, there was one publicly announced arrest as a result of the incident. According to the Nassau County Police incident report:
"...Michael Croissant, 44, of 348 Mongaup Road, Monticello, attempted to land a Bell Model 407 helicopter on a grassy area on the west side of the Coliseum. The landing had to be aborted due to pedestrians walking in the area. Croissant then returned and landed on the grassy area where at least 20 pedestrians were walking in the area. He was placed under arrest and his helicopter was seized."
-Nassau County Police
According to police, Croissant will be charged with Reckless Endangerment and will be arraigned on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at First District Court in Hempstead.
The promoter of the event, Louis Branchinelli of Lou B Industries, did not respond to phone calls or voicemails left on his cellular phone seeking comment for this story. Representatives for the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum also could not be reached for comment by press time.
UPDATE 10:55am : Louis Branchinelli, promoter of the " Haunted Coliseum " event, returned our call seeking comment. He had this to say about events that unfolded:
"I promote so everyone has a good time, not a bad one. I just want everyone to be safe, that's my first priority."
-Louis Branchinelli, Lou B Industries
Mr. Branchinelli says that there was not an "unruly mob" of people. The people were merely excited to participate in the event. He said:
"They wanted to go in when the music went on, just like every other crowd does. People just wanted to have a good time."
-Louis Branchinelli, Lou B Industries
Mr. Branchinelli also disputed the fact any of the medical issues that resulted in hospitalization were the fault of the event planners.
"Kids were showing up drunk. They were drinking...somewhere. When a kid shows up a drunk and is puking in the parking lot, what can we do about that? They weren't serving minors alcohol inside the venue."-Louis Branchinelli, Lou B Industries
Any visibly intoxicated individuals were not let into the venue, Branchinelli said. He did however, admit that enforcing that rule is very problematic. Regardless, Branchinelli noted that he was just the promoter of the event, responsible for marketing the event and selling tickets. According to Branchinelli, the venue, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, had their own security company that was entirely responsible for crowd management.
"If you drink alcohol, you know it takes a while to get into your system? You know that, right? If we take a shot of alcohol right now it'll be a while before you can tell. So if they were drunk inside it was because they drank something right before."-Louis Branchinelli, Lou B Industries
Branchinelli also contended that any possibility of alcohol being served by the venue was eliminated as soon as there was the first sign of any issues. "That went out the window," he said. Finally, Branchinelli noted that he did his job well, and that, "Sometimes these things happen."
"I'm a promoter. What am I supposed to do, promote less? I don't even know how to do that...I love dance music. I love throwing dance music events. It's what I do."-Louis Branchinelli, Lou B Industries
Branchinelli noted that he has been throwing events of this type for many years, and that he works tirelessly to ensure that people are safe, first and foremost. He argues that many of the emergency medical transports that occured were precautionary rather than truly necessary. "If they were even a little bit drunk, they took them to the hospital," Branchinelli said.
This story is developing. Any updated information we receive will be noted on Twitter by our Editor-in-Chief as well as posted on our Facebook page.