LA Supervisor Yaroslavsky calls for moratorium on LA Coliseum raves

Thousands of attendees crowd the stage at the Electric Daisy Carnival rave at the Los Angeles Coliseum, June 25, 2010.
Thousands of attendees crowd the stage at the Electric Daisy Carnival rave at the Los Angeles Coliseum, June 25, 2010. Courtesy of Marcus Mendez

One day after a 15-year-old girl died from a suspected drug overdose sustained during the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky today called for a moratorium on any future raves at the facility.

Sasha Rodriguez, of Atwater, was removed from life support about 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to Lt. Larry Dietz of the coroner's office. She had attended the Electric Daisy Carnival over the weekend and was taken to California Hospital Medical Center in respiratory arrest and never recovered, a hospital official said.

"I was supposed to planning her Sweet Sixteen party,'' Sasha's mother, Grace Rodriguez, told the CBS Evening News. "Now, I have to plan her funeral,'' she said.

An autopsy on the girl was pending.

Yaroslavsky sent a letter today to the president of the Coliseum Commission, the panel that oversees the stadium, asking that raves be barred from the facility. Commission President Barry Sanders announced previously he would be calling a special meeting of the panel to discuss the weekend carnival.

"I am proposing that the Coliseum Commission impose a moratorium on the renting of its facilities to any individual or company that promotes raves,'' Yaroslavsky wrote. "I respectfully request that you place this proposal on the special commission meeting agenda.

"We need to do a stop look and listen to see if there’s any socially redeeming value in our leasing to these kinds of promoters. They put the Coliseum’s reputation at risk, and more importantly, they put people’s lives at risk. As we saw this past weekend. No 15-year-old, no person should die when going to a concert at public facility,'' he said.

In response to Yaroslavsky's letter, L.A. Coliseum Commission President Barry Sanders said he would propose at the next committee meeting adopting a moratorium "on Coliseum Management's entering into any contractual arrangements with persons or entities promoting raves."

Sasha was one of two overdose patients from the electronic music festival who had been in critical condition at California Hospital Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reported.

She and the other critical patient had been taken to the hospital directly from the festival, officials said. They were treated for drug intoxication in the intensive care unit.

A large number of young adults and teenagers also were admitted to the hospital suffering minor injuries to more serious injuries, Dr. Marc Futernick, medical director of emergency services at California Hospital Medical Center told Patt Morrison today.

"We're talking about 15-20 percent of the volume of out E.R purely coming from the rave," Futernick said.

The website for the Electric Daisy Carnival said attendees had to be at least 16.

"Obviously, they didn't check IDs,'' Sasha's godmother, Eva Rodriguez, told the Times.

Sanders said he called a special meeting of the commission "to review all the circumstances and the criteria for ensuring that event promoters in our facilities have proper procedures in place to protect the health and safety of all attendees.''

"We will always be committed to the well-being of everyone who visits the Coliseum and Sports Arena.''

Dietz said an investigator will make a preliminary investigation and then the body will be turned over to the coroner for an autopsy and toxicology report.

"It will be a couple of days before the doctors get the case,'' Dietz said. "The big question is what kind of drugs are involved because drugs are pretty much free-flowing at a rave party.''

Total attendance for the 14th annual Electric Daisy Carnival was estimated at 185,000 for Friday and Saturday.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck voiced concerns about the festival Monday, one day after Los Angeles Fire Department personnel reported 226 medical emergencies at the event, with 114 people taken to hospitals.

The comments from Beck and Villaraigosa also came after video of gate-crashers climbing over fences and tents to get inside the carnival area on Saturday was aired on television newscasts.

"We're going to have to assess whether or not these events will occur in the future,'' Villaraigosa told KCAL9.

Beck told the station: "This year I think was the most impactful on public safety, so we have to look at limiting the event a little bit next year, but we'll work with the promoters on that.''

Police made more than 60 arrests at the event on Saturday, KCAL9 reported.

Drug overdoses and drunkenness at the carnival held Friday and Saturday were a problem, according to the fire department.

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