Security Guard “Slowly Improving” After Being Trampled On at Ultra: Police

Erica Mack, 28, is now breathing on her own, police say.

Police say an Ultra Music Festival security guard is slowly improving after being trampled on by a group of people trying to knock over a fence Friday.

Erica Mack, 28, remained in critical condition, but had started breathing on her own Sunday, according to police.

Mack was injured sometime between 8 and 9 p.m. when a large group of people outside the festival tried to push over a fence at Southeast 1st Street and Biscayne Boulevard, Fire Rescue spokesman Iggy Carroll said.

"A mob of people came to a fenced in area where they saw an opportunity to try to push it over," he said. "Numerous amounts of people, we don't know the exact number, was able to push it on top of her and began trampling her just to get into the Ultra Fest."

The fence fell on Mack, who was likely trying to stop the people from getting in. Police said they believe a Good Samaritan was able to stop the people from trampling the security guard help get the fence off her.

Mack was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in serious critical condition with head trauma and a broken leg.

Event organizers and security are no strangers to large crowds at the three-day electronic dance music event. Ultra has been around since 1999, when it was held in South Beach. It's growing popularity and attendance prompted organizaers to move it to Bayfront Park in 2001.

A crew was at Bayfront Park early Monday morning to clean up the mess left behind by this weekend's more than 55,000 attendees who were there watch their favorite DJs perform.

Ultra organizers released a statement Sunday that hoped for Mack's "swift and full recovery."

The organizers said they prohibit any form of unlawful entry into the event grounds.

"Every year the event organizers work collaboratively with police and other municipal partners along with the organizers’ independent security partners to ensure the safety of all patrons, crew and working personnel," read the statement.

Organizers said they could not provide further comment due to a thorough investigation, but that they are cooperating fully with investigators.

Contemporary Services Corporation, the company which employed Mack, released the following statement Sunday:

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred this weekend at Ultra Music Festival. We will continue to keep Erica Mack and her loved ones in our thoughts and prayers as we closely monitor her condition."

Miami Police reported 33 more arrests on Saturday, the second day of Ultra Music Festival. Another 29 people were arrested on Sunday.

Of those arrests, 33 were felonies and 50 were misdemeanors, according to police. Sunday's arrests brought the total for the weekend to 84.

Authorities did not specify the nature of the arrests.

Last year, Miami Police reported a total of 167 arrests over two weekends: 81 on the first weekend and 86 on the second weekend. The arrests ranged from disorderly conduct to narcotics. This year's festival is back to a one-weekend run.

The festival, which takes place in downtown Miami, attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. Organizers expect a daily attendance of 50,000 to 60,000 festivalgoers this year.

But after Friday's incident, city officials want Ultra to find a new location.

"This is not a business that serves the community well," said Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff in a phone interview. "It is time for Ultra to go away. We have always talked about people getting trampled and now it happened."

For festivalgoer Cain Mosby, revelers just need to learn some respect.

"If you're going to come here, at least come here respectful," Mosby said. "If you're not going to be respectful, there's no point in coming here."

The influx of people also creates major traffic delays in the downtown area each year. Most of Biscayne Boulevard will be blocked through the weekend, with traffic being rerouted west at Northeast 4th Street to Northeast 2nd Avenue. Northbound traffic along Biscayne Boulevard will be reduced to two lanes shifted to southbound lanes at Southeast 1st Street.

Ultra is in its 16th year and is considered the world's premiere electronic music festival.

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