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DALY CITY, Calif. — A 23-year-old man who died after he apparently took tainted drugs while attending an electronic music festival in Daly City over the weekend has been identified as Anthony Mata, of Fresno.
Mata died at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, following the “etd.POP 2010” music festival Saturday night at the Cow Palace in Daly City, Daly City police Lt. Jay Morena said. An estimated 16,000 people attended the festival.
At a press conference Monday morning, Daly City police said they had assigned homicide detectives to investigate the case after Mata’s death.
Eleven other people were hospitalized after attending the festival due to apparently tainted doses of the drug Ecstasy, according to Morena. Five were listed in life-threatening condition Monday morning and the other two were in serious but stable, he said.
The victims were between 17 and 28 years old.
Medical staff at San Francisco General Hospital, where the patients were taken, said the symptoms they saw were not typically seen in patients who overdose on Ecstasy, prompting authorities to suspect the drugs may have been tainted with an unknown substance.
Symptoms included severe internal bleeding and kidney failure.
KTVU spoke with the husband of one of the victims, a 24-year old woman currently at San Francisco General.
“We wanted to go out and take a break,” explained Kevin, 25, who did not want to give his last name. “But on our way out, we were like right at the ramp, she was just on me and all of a sudden, it was like dead weight. She collapsed on me.”
Kevin said he believed it wasn’t tainted ecstasy but rather a combination of heat, dehydration, exhaustion and drugs that put his wife in the hospital.
“The same thing would have happened to me too, because we took the same thing,” said Kevin.
The two people in stable condition told police they don’t know any of the other patients, and said neither purchased their drugs at the music event, according to Morena.
Officers arrested 68 adults and five juveniles for allegedly possessing or selling drugs at the annual music festival. The event lasted from 6 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday and had an estimated attendance of 16,500 patrons.
Police also seized 800 Ecstasy tablets with a street value of $16,000, and other drugs including LSD, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. About $5,000 in cash was also taken, officials said.
On Monday, Daly City Mayor Michael Guingona expressed frustration over what he sees as an ongoing problem at the Cow Palace.
“I don’t know if even increased security is the answer to that,” said Guingona. “I think perhaps an all out ban on that kind of activity in that area, especially that close to a residential area. It’s just not suitable for that.”
Raves are well known for rampant drug use — especially ecstasy.
One of the biggest concerns is the cavalier attitude that some party goers seem to have about accepting drugs from unknown sources.
“I was offered some and I had a drink or two in me already, so I just kind of didn’t think too much about it and just took it,” said Kevin.
The San Mateo County crime lab and doctors from the Bay Area California poison control office were testing samples of some of the ecstasy that was seized at the concert.
A representative from the San Mateo County Coroner’s office told KTVU an autopsy for the young man who died was scheduled for Tuesday. The coroner’s office will also conduct toxicology tests to determine what substances may have been in his body at the time of his death.
Last year’s electronic music event netted the arrest of 76 adults and three juveniles, as well as the seizure of 901 Ecstasy tablets, marijuana, methamphetamine and more than $5,000 in cash, officials said.
(02-13) 17:33 PST SAN JOSE – Attorneys for the two brothers who survived a Christmas Day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo said today they intend to seek the personnel records of San Jose officers who arrested the men Sept. 7 in a separate incident in which they allegedly scuffled with police.
Kulbir Dhaliwal, 24, and his brother Paul, 19, said nothing during their brief appearance in a San Jose courtroom on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest. Paul Dhaliwal is also charged with misdemeanor battery on a police officer.
The brothers were arrested after they allegedly refused to cooperate with officers who reported seeing them chasing two men down the street, according to police reports. Authorities have never located the men.
Paul Dhaliwal is accused of hitting an officer in the chest with his forearm as the officer tried to restrain him, leading to the battery charge. He stopped resisting only when an officer held a stun gun to his neck and threatened to use it, according to a police report.
Kulbir Dhaliwal cursed at officers while kicking the security partition in a squad car, forcing police to pull him out and put him in leg restraints, the police report says.
The attorneys for the brothers told Judge Michele McKay McCoy of Santa Clara County Superior Court that they wanted to search the arresting officers’ personnel files for any information that might help the defense, such as a record of misconduct.
Both defense attorneys declined to comment on their request outside court.
The brothers bore scars on their heads from the attack by a Siberian tiger that escaped its enclosure at the zoo and killed Paul Dhaliwal’s friend Carlos Sousa Jr., 17. They declined to comment as they left court.
Paul Dhaliwal, through his attorney, Cory Fuller, also pleaded not guilty to a marijuana possession count. He was cited Dec. 21 for allegedly having 1.8 grams of marijuana in his pocket while in the parking lot of a Milpitas hotel.
He had been placed on probation three days before that incident after pleading no contest to felony reckless driving and other charges for leading police on a 140-mph chase on April 28, court records show.