SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Over the course of the three-day Phish concert held at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy says hundreds of arrests were made and one person died from a drug overdose.
The Saratoga Springs Police Department conducted an "Operation Impact" detail to aggressively police the presence of illegal narcotics that are often associated with similar events. City police made 75 vehicle and traffic arrests, 50 traffic tickets and 26 drug-related arrests for drugs including LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), Mushrooms, Hash, Ketamine, Bath Salts, Cocaine, Heroin and Nitrous Oxide.
New York State Park Police made 32 felony drug-related arrests, 30 misdemeanor arrests, 28 drug-related misdemeanor arrests, one forcible touching arrest, one resisting arrest and 95 violations.
Lastly, New York State Police made three drug-related arrests.
During the Phish concert, law enforcement reported that in one case an individual was taken to Albany Medical Center due to a drug overdose and died as a result of that drug overdose.
With drugs readily available at concerts like the Phish shows this past weekend in Saratoga Springs, Dr. Jim Saperstone says those settings have the making for a lethal combination.
"It's very easy to take too much," he said. "Parents really need to talk to their kids about it, and it's never too late."
He said along with the methamphetamines, it's also common for prescription drugs to circulate at these shows, which can often result in a deadly outcome.
Murphy said the Saratoga Springs City Court Judges conducted arraignments at the Lincoln Baths, Office of Court Administration throughout the night and the Office of the District Attorney was available for providing bail recommendations all night long over the weekend.
He says shuttles between the "courthouse" and the jail ran all night transporting charged defendants to the Saratoga county Correctional Facility until the morning's appearance in Saratoga Springs City Court when most of the defendant's cases were returnable. Four assistant district attorneys were assigned to handle the extra volume, rather than just one, due to the high number of arrests.
In anticipation of sell-out performances each of the three night, from July 5th to July 7th, the Saratoga Springs Police Department Narcotics Unit, Criminal Investigation Unit and Patrol Officers teamed up with members of the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and road Troopers to conduct various types of prohibitive details over an eight hour period each day.
SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia White released the following statement on the results:
"Nearly 70,000 people came through SPAC's gates this past weekend for three concerts by the band Phish. Of those 70,000 fans, there were a number of individuals who chose to disregard the law. New York State Parks Police did their job in arresting these individuals; the DA will do his job in prosecuting these individuals.
While we work hand-in-hand with Live Nation, New York State Parks Police and all of our Saratoga County law enforcement partners to ensure a safe, enjoyable concert season at SPAC, people are ultimately responsible for their own behavior. With an exciting season of concerts still ahead, we encourage people to exercise good judgement and to conduct themselves in a way that will protect their own health and safety and that of other concertgoers."
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