Over 90 people were hospitalized and another 50 charged with underage drinking at the Hot 93.7 ‘Hot Jam’ concert at Xfinity Theatre on July 21, according to authorities.
Police say most of those charged during the Connecticut concert, headlined by Chance the Rapper, will be issued a summons to appear in court.
The number of people hospitalized on Friday far surpassed the average for a typical concert in the city, Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley told the Hartford Courant.
“A ‘typical’ concert is around 20-30 transports. 60 would be very bad. We had 70 once and 90 last night,” Foley said. “It depends on the act that is in town and the fan base age.”
Foley said most of the people hospitalized were underage and were experiencing “severe intoxication.”
The police chief on Twitter called it a “busy night” and confirmed that over 90 people were taken by ambulance to regional hospitals in the area.
Hartford Fire Capt. Raul Ortiz said their department was overwhelmed by the constant cycle of intoxicated concertgoers. The city’s ambulance provider had to call in for additional resources and some patients had to be taken to hospitals in other areas such as Farmington, Manchester and New Britain, Ortiz told the Hartford Courant.
The city’s ambulance provider had to call in for additional resources and some patients had to be taken to hospitals in other areas such as Farmington, Manchester, and New Britain, Ortiz told the Hartford Courant.
“When it’s at this level, you’re tapping into all your resources in the area,” he said.
The concert crowd was filled with mostly people in their late teens and early 20s, he said. “Tailgating, partying and excessive alcohol consumption was extremely prevalent,” he said.
Ortiz said his department’s incident commander estimates the number of people sent to hospital exceeded police estimates of 90, telling the Hartford Courant that more than 100 people were hospitalized, with thirty having been taken to Hartford Hospital alone.
Foley urged parents to be aware of the kind of environments their teenage children are immersing themselves in. He posted videos of the concert on Twitter, saying, “Parents: Did you drop your teen off at the concert tonight? This is what it looks like.”
At least 15 people, mainly teenagers, were taken from the concert to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, including a 19-year-old male with a blood-alcohol content of nearly 0.5, said John Brancato, assistant director of the hospital’s pediatric emergency department.
His blood alcohol was 8 times the legal limit for driving. The teen was so intoxicated that he had to be restrained and was nearly intubated—a process in which a tube is inserted into the throat to keep the patient from choking—Brancato told the paper. The patient was eventually taken to the intensive care unit for close monitoring.
“It’s just crazy,” Brancato said. “It’s not like adult social drinking, where you’re out with friends or family and you have a glass of wine or beer, or two, or three.
“With the kids who get brought to the hospital, they drink with one sole purpose, and they don’t understand anything about how their bodies will handle it,” he said. “They have a time frame and they want to get blotto before they go in.”
All the underage-drinking arrests were made in the parking lots surrounding the concert venue. Chief police Foley said about 21,000 people attended the concert.
More than 70 police officers and additional medical staff were assigned that night, including an underage-enforcement group that was hired through a government grant.
From NTD Television