1 Death Reported at Ultra as Officials Call for End to Fest

Miami police said one person died during Ultra Music Festival this past weekend.

Officials said it is still unknown how the person died. No further information was available as the investigation is ongoing.

The man's aunt and uncle said 21-year-old Adonis Pena Escoto was like a son to them.

"When my husband called and said he died I was in shock," aunt Rosa Escoto said.

They said he helped them with the family business and cared for his ailing dad, who has a serious heart condition. Pena Escoto was pursuing a career with the Miami-Dade corrections department while performing in an Improv group.

His family insists he was not into drugs and question how the young man died Saturday at Ultra.

"We are still looking into that," Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said at a press conference. "The autopsy is yet to be completed and the toxicology will take probably a few months.

Rosa Escoto said her nephew's friends, who were with him at the festival, told her he had complained about being dizzy. She said the friends had him sit in the car to see if he felt better."

"The friends go back to the festival. When they left, he never wake up," she said.

This isn't the first death reported at the festival, which just finished it's 16th year. Last year, a New Jersey man died after attending Ultra due to multiple organ failure, according to authorities.

"It is very dangerous for the community, very dangerous," uncle Luis Escoto said.

Miami city officials are calling for the end to the music festival after this weekend’s events. Police reported a number of drug-related arrests and the injury of a security guard who was trampled on by fans trying to enter the premises without a ticket.

“With the drug use and the noise, I have to say that Ultra has overstepped its welcome,” Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado said.

Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff told The Miami Herald on Sunday that crowd control at an event with 55,000 people is impossible.

“Sometimes it takes a wake-up call to do something,” Sarnoff told the Herald. “It’s simply not safe.”

Police reported a total of 84 arrests at this weekend’s three-day event, which went from Friday to Sunday. Thirty-three of those arrests were felonies and 50 were misdemeanors.

Investigators on Sunday were still looking into an incident where a throng of fans critically injured security guard Erica Mack, 28, after they tried to push over a fence at Southeast 1st Street and Biscayne Boulevard on Friday. She suffered a broken leg and brain hemorrhaging, and is currently recovering, police said.

About 65 percent of the event’s attendees are from out of town, the Herald reported. Some of Ultra’s supporters slammed the mayor’s sentiments about the festival, saying the event is an economic boon for the city.

“This is something that has to be discussed” said Carmel Ophir, who owns The Vagabond nightclub in downtown. “There are so many positive things about Ultra.”

Sarnoff said the Ultra Music Festival brings in about $1.5 million to the Bayfront Park Trust, which maintains the venue where the event takes place. But he argues that the city of Miami needs to stop issuing permits for the annual event, a proposal the mayor supports.

“I realize it puts Miami on the map,” Regalado said. “But we don’t want to be showcased as the city of chaos.”

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