Second concertgoer dies from suspected drug overdose

WASHINGTON — A 17-year-old boy from Woodbridge, Virginia, has died at Howard County General Hospital from a suspected drug overdose.

He was taken to the hospital from Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia Friday night during the “Mad Decent Block Party” music festival.

Upon the family’s request, the teen’s name is not being publicly released.

The teen is the second patient to die from a suspected overdose at the concert.

A 20-year-old Raleigh, North Carolina man, Tyler Fox Viscardi, was taken to the same hospital Friday evening and was pronounced dead.

Police do not believe the two young men knew one another. Roughly 20 other people were taken to the hospital, many with drug-related symptoms. All were treated and released.

After an investigation, police believe Molly was used at the event. It’s a synthetic drug that has similarities to stimulants and hallucinogens, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

It can increase the heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.

Police will await autopsy and toxicology results from the medical examiner’s office to confirm the exact cause of death.

Officers also made three arrests during the event: one for assault on a police officer, another for domestic assault, and a third for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

As the summer concert season continues, police are urging concertgoers to attend shows safely and not to engage in illegal activities such as drug use and under age drinking.

Shows are regularly staffed with police, both uniformed and undercover, to deter and identify illegal activity, according to Howard County police.

“Our hearts go out to the family as they face the unimaginable,” Seth Hurwitz, chairman of IMP and operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion, says in a statement. “This particular type of incident is not the problem of those who should have known better. It’s the problem of those too young to believe it could happen to them.”

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on the WTOP Facebook page.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up