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Friends claim drug was slipped to dead teen

L.A. Coliseum temporarily bans raves
June 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Wednesday evening, the L.A. Coliseum Commission placed a temporary ban on raves at the Coliseum while an investigation was completed. A 15-year-old girl died of a suspected drug overdose after attending a rave over the weekend at the Coliseum. In an Eyewitness News exclusive interview, her friends say someone slipped her a drug.There were many casualties from the event over the weekend, even though there were police, paramedics and private security on the scene. Sasha Rodriguez, 15, died from a suspected overdose after the rave. Another teen is hospitalized in critical condition.

"What could I do? I tried my best to help her," said Devyne Castillo, Rodriguez's best friend.

Devyne says they got separated at the rave. When they reunited, Sasha was out of it.

"And I was like, 'Sasha, look at me,'" said Castillo.

In the mayhem, Sasha drank some water to clear her head. Then she began to hallucinate.

"She was like, 'Why are people saying my name,' and 'You have stuff on your face,' and I was like, 'Just relax,'" said Castillo. "I turned back around, her eyes rolled back and she collapsed."

Hours later, friends were at Sasha's side in the hospital.

"They told us that she was brain-dead. That if anything, she'd be a vegetable, and that's something you would never want to hear about somebody," said Ebony Diaz, a friend of Sasha's.

The event was supposed to be off-limits to those 16 and under.

Ebony said her identification was not checked at the door, and that she didn't see anyone else's ID checked either. "A lot of them looked like they were 13."

And the drug Ecstasy was abundant, says Devyne. Passersby were allegedly dropping it into drinks of the unsuspecting.

"People are talking crap about her, saying that she shouldn't take drugs. It's not her fault, because she didn't take any drugs," said Devyne. "Someone must have did this to her, and we're going to find out."

An inquiry has been launched into the suspected drug overdoses.

Staggering attendance was reported at the 14th annual Electric Daisy Carnival: 185,000 people over the weekend. One-hundred-thirty people were transported to local hospitals, overloading emergency rooms.

YouTube video showed how out of hand things got at the event. The crowd rushed the gates, and people were pushing and shoving each other to get in.

The Coliseum and events like the Electric Daisy Carnival are under the control of the Coliseum Commission.

L.A city officials have questions about the situation.

"Is this group providing enough security? Is there enough in the way of precautionary measures taken to ensure that young people can hear music but safely, without the proliferation of drugs and other activity that you saw there," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "I do have appointees to that Coliseum Commission. I got to tell you: I expect some answers."

Along with the drug dangers, the city also received a lot of complaints about the size of the crowd and noise from the event. For city leaders, it's one more reason to try to take a bigger role in overseeing what types of events take place at the Coliseum.

"They made an enormous amount of money, and I understand that, but we did get a number of complaints, so it's something I want to take a look at before it happens again next year," said L.A. Councilwoman Jan Perry. L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky called for a moratorium on raves.

An autopsy and a toxicology report are pending.

Doctors say whenever there are raves, they see more drug overdoses.

"With a rave atmosphere, they're on drugs, they're drinking, they're dancing, they're not hydrated, so you do expect to see a lot more people come in," said Dr. Stephen Liu, California Hospital Medical Center.

The Coliseum Commission and the concert promoter released statements Wednesday, sending condolences to Sasha Rodriguez's family.

A meeting is planned for July 15 to review policies and procedures.


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