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article image73 arrested, 11 sick after California rave

By Kim I. Hartman     May 31, 2010 in World
San Francisco - Saturday night's rave at the Cow Palace will not soon be forgotten for dozens of young people. Eleven of them ended up in San Francisco hospitals after taking what police say was tainted drugs and dozens more ended up in jail.
Police arrested 68 adults and five juveniles for allegedly possessing or selling drugs at this weekend's annual electronic music festival ".POP 2010 The Dream" at the Cow Palace in Daly City, and 11 people were hospitalized after apparently using tainted drugs at the festival, according to the San Francisco police and drug task force officers.
Some of the people sickened at the Cow Palace event were taken to various area hospitals may have suffered life-threatening complications from the drugs, health officials said.
Authorities are trying to identify one of the patients who was taken to San Francisco General Hospital after apparently using tainted drugs at the event.
The patient is described as a white or Hispanic male in his late teens or early 20s who has a silver earring in his left ear, is about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall and weighs about 150 to 160 pounds with black, closely shaved hair and a small goatee.
He was wearing jeans, a teal blue shirt and black Converse sneakers, according to hospital officials
Members of the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force as well as the Daly City Police Department and other city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies participated in the undercover operation that led to the dozens of arrests.
Similar events are often known for sales of illegal club drugs.
"Obviously someone was either giving away or selling drugs that were laced with something that caused a number of kids to be taken to the hospital, and that's cause for concern," said Eileen Shields, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. She said she heard as many as 20,000 people attended the Saturday night rave.
San Francisco Police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said the victims included at least one young man who was unconscious and did not have identification. By late Sunday afternoon, police had identified him and notified his parents.
While the drug involved has not been identified, "ecstasy is usually associated with raves," Tomioka said. She said it's possible that overdosing caused some of the ill effects.
"It's very concerning with that many young people having to go to the hospital," she said. "That rave event is huge."
In addition to the arrests, police 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.
The 68 adults who were arrested at the event were booked into San Mateo County jail. The five juveniles were given a hearing date and released to parents or guardians.
Last year's 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.
Police in both San Francisco and San Mateo counties are reminding young people that it is always dangerous to accept drugs from unknown people.
Anyone who can help identify the patient at San Francisco General should call the hospital at (415) 206-8000. You can call in a tip anonymously.
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