Downtown Miami

Fewer arrests this year at Ultra

Cleanup is underway at the Ultra Festival in downtown Miami as arrests reports are released Monday March 21, 2016.
Cleanup is underway at the Ultra Festival in downtown Miami as arrests reports are released Monday March 21, 2016. wmichot@miamiherald.com

Miami police reported 67 arrests — 33 of which were narcotics related — at this year’s Ultra Music Festival, the third year of decreased arrests and the fewest of any Ultra weekend from 2012-15.

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“The numbers are good for this event,” said Miami police Sgt. Freddie Cruz, who did not have a breakdown of the types of offenses. Cruz credited improved police placement, improved communication with the community and concertgoers as well as better fencing discouraging fence jumpers.

The 29 felony arrests were up from last year’s 20, which was a steep drop from the average of 39.5 the previous four weekends (including two weekends in 2013). As far as total arrests, after a peak of 109 the second 2013 weekend, the numbers dropped to 84 in 2014 and 76 in 2015.

The arrest numbers came Monday, as festival organizers, Miami Police and Miami Rescue reviewed the weekend festival that drew about 170,000 people over three days to Bayfront Park. Monday was also about cleaning up what was left behind including hundreds of credit cards, passports, cell phones and other belonging. Brian Andrews, a spokesman for the festival, said the lost and found will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“We had more people this year than we ever had in the festival's history,” said Ray Martinez, the director of security for the festival Monday as crews broke down the stages and fencing set up for the festival.

Martinez said safety was the number one concern and pre-planning helped to curb not only crime, but other incidents. Among the additions this year: clear bags and no backpacks, an amnesty box for people to drop off narcotics and other forbidden items and staffers roaming the festival to spot people in need of help.

Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said there were less than 70 reported incidents — everything from a cut finger to medical issues — each day and less than 20 people were taken to the hospital each day.

“With the amount of people that showed up having less than 70 people transported is tremendous,” he said.

Among those taken to the hospital from Ultra was Adam Levine, who later died at the hospital. On Monday, police said they were still investigating the death of the 21-year-old University of Miami student. The medical examiner’s office said it was still determining the cause of death.

“It's certainly a sad moment for his family, all of us here,” said Martinez. “It's just a sad situation.”

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