Ultra Stampede Witness: "I Was Horrified. I Honestly Thought [the Security Guard] Was Dead."
An eyewitness to the trampling of an Ultra security guard says the moment of mob violence was "one of the worst things I've ever seen."
Photo courtesy of Ivette Lozano Security guard Erica Mack is in critical condition after being trampled by a mob of Ultra gate-crashers.
Ivette Lozano was outside the music festival Friday night when she saw a group of young men suddenly force their way over a flimsy chain-link fence. Trampled under the teenagers' feet was 28-year-old security guard Erica Mack, who is now fighting for her life in the hospital.
"I was horrified," Lozano says of the moment when she saw Mack's crumpled body. "I honestly thought she was dead. She was so limp, her body was so twisted in different areas, I thought she was dead."
UPDATE: Ultra has issued a statement on the incident. See below for details.
Lozano, a legal assistant, was herself looking forward to Ultra. She had attended the EDM festival in past years. This time, she bought a Saturday-only ticket for $175.
Around 8:30 p.m. Friday, she and a friend decided to check out the Ultra crowd on their way to another event. They walked north along Biscayne Boulevard past a long line of people waiting to get in. Then they doubled back toward their car.
On the way back, however, Lozano saw a group of young men combing the fence for weak spots. "You could tell they were casing for the perfect spot to rush the gate," she says.
Suddenly, a kid in shorts and a tank top sprinted out from the group and toward the fence.
"Stop! Stop!" screamed Mack, the unarmed security guard.
But the kid didn't listen. As he began to climb the metal rungs, the flimsy fence bent underneath him. Then his buddies began pushing forward as well, toppling the fence on top of Mack and crushing her beneath their feet as they poured inside Ultra.
"They all knew what they were going to do," Lozano says. "I'm sure they didn't mean to hurt her, but they were very much aware she was standing there. The first couple of people must have seen her because they were stepping all over her."
"People from all around starting running over, running over her, trampling her," Lozano says. "I was frozen in place."
"The cops literally looked at it and just shrugged and called it in on the radio," she says. "They knew that it was too much for them, and they didn't know the security guard was getting trampled."
When the stampede finally stopped, all Lozano could see was a sickly, twisted leg sticking out from underneath the fencing.
"It was so dark you still couldn't see her," she says. "I saw someone on the floor with her leg backwards. I pointed it out to cops, and they rushed over. She was just [passed] out. A security guard twisted her leg back into place."