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25 arrested, 17 hospitalized during rave

At least 17 people were hospitalized and more than two dozen arrested during a New Year's Eve rave at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, but there were no reported fatalities.

The annual Together as One electronic music party drew about 45,000 revelers to ring in the new year at an event that lasted until 2 a.m., according to the event promoter.

New safety measures were in place this year, including an 18-and-over age requirement and "amnesty boxes" where revelers could deposit illegal drugs before being searched. Hundreds of police and dozens of fire and emergency personnel were there.

Los Angeles Fire Department personnel treated 62 partygoers for a "broad spectrum between injury and illness" and took 17 to hospitals, Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

Humphrey said there had been no reports of fatalities but could not give an assessment of the condition of those hospitalized. He could not say how many of them were hospitalized for drug- or alcohol-related reasons.

Los Angeles police reported 25 total arrests at the event, the majority of them narcotics-related. Police said 15 of those arrested were hospitalized for drug-related medical emergencies.

After attending last year's party, a 24-year-old man died of a drug overdose and 18 people were hospitalized. (The man who died had taken Ecstasy and cocaine at the rave and injected himself with heroin at home afterward, according to a report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

In June, raves were temporarily banned at the Sports Arena and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after the overdose death of 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez. Coliseum commissioners voted to lift the ban in November.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who also serves on the Coliseum Commission, dropped in on the most recent rave to check out the new safety measures.

Yaroslavsky praised the precautions taken and said that the arrests and hospital transports at this year's Together as One event were down from last year by at least half on a per-capita basis.

"I think this was the best-planned response that we've had at any of these events," he said.

abby.sewell@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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