NYC

Student Who Died At Electric Zoo Allegedly Took 6 Hits Of Molly

Sep 03, 2013 | Updated Sep 03, 2013

A University of New Hampshire student, one of two people who died at the Electric Zoo festival in New York City over the weekend, allegedly had multiple hits of "molly" before her death.

The New York Post reported 20-year-old Olivia Rotondo told emergency workers that she "took six hits of molly" before she collapsed into a seizure on Saturday, Aug. 31. Molly is the powder or crystal form of MDMA, a chemical used in ecstasy. Despite its seemingly innocent handle, the drug can be dangerous and interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature, resulting in liver, kidney and cardiovascular failure.

Rotondo was taken to Metropolitan Hospital at 8:45 p.m. on Aug. 31 and was pronounced dead 45 minutes later, according to The New York Times.

Jeffrey Russ, a 23-year-old Syracuse University graduate, also died following Saturday's show. His aunt told the Post the family was told he had taken ecstasy. Police also found crystal meth in his pocket.

Law enforcement said the circumstances of both deaths appeared to be drug-related. The New York Times notes toxicology reports are still pending and official causes of death have not been released.

"During the first two days of the Electric Zoo music festival, two concert-goers have died and at least four others became critically ill and have been placed in intensive care at area hospitals," the New York City Mayor's office said in a statement Sunday. "Definitive causes of death have not yet been determined, however, both appear to have involved the drug MDMA (ecstasy, or molly)."

These are not the only incidents that occurred at the music festival. The New York City Park Advocates reported a 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on Friday, according to Metro. The teenager allegedly woke up under a van in the parking lot of the event with bruises and scratches on her legs. The Special Victims Unit is investigating.

There were also 31 arrests over the two days, for offenses including drug sales, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of controlled substances, Gothamist noted.

Following the two deaths, the three-day electric dance music event on Randall's Island -- which was scheduled to run from Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 -- was cancelled for Sunday. Made Event, the group hosting the concert, is offering refunds to ticket holders.

“These events are out of control, and they shouldn’t be happening on park property,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, told the New York Daily News.

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