Five days of Texas music kept emergency medical personnel and law enforcement officials busy April 24-28. But taking into account the estimated 50,000 music lovers who flocked to Melody Mountain Ranch, the number of incidents is low, according to Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant.
Emergency Medical Services coordinator Steve Cole said a medical helicopter was called to the festival on the night of April 28, and Erath County EMS was dispatched to the festival 12 times, with 11 patients being transported to the hospital.
The medical helicopter was called to fly an assault victim to the hospital, and witnesses said the victim was Addison Hunter, son of Mayor Nancy Hunter, although law enforcement officials would not confirm his identity.
Bryant said the incident has been investigated and although statements and reports were taken which identified the perpetrator, the victim and his family do not wish to pursue charges.
In a separate incident, Bryant said a man's genitalia was seriously injured during an assault, but due to the number of people involved, a suspect has not been identified.
In addition to local EMTs, Cole also said a contracted ambulance service was on scene April 26-28, and he did not have information on the number of individuals taken to the hospital by that service.
Cole said while the crowd increased in size by an estimated six percent, it was a typical year for EMS. He said EMTs treated minor and major medical issues, including everything from cuts and scrapes to lacerations, assault and alcohol-related issues.
Cross Timbers First Responders have a first aide tent set up at the festival each year and Cole said they provide treatment for minor issues and call on EMS if they feel an ambulance is needed.
Bryant said the majority of police activity occurred outside of the festival grounds where 32 individuals were arrested and hundreds of traffic stops were made.
"Texas Department of Public Safety troopers initiated 812 traffic stops and issued a total of 866 warnings," Bryant said.
DPS issued 34 speeding citations and 39 tickets for failure to use seatbelts in the area surrounding the ranch over the five-day period, and arrests were made for possession of marijuana and methamphetamine, driving while intoxicated and public intoxication.
An additional 11 individuals were arrested for assault and public intoxication from inside festival gates, Bryant said, adding that although the number of traffic stops appears to be high, there were more arrests in previous years.
"I was comparing this year's number to years past and there were times when there were more than 1,200 stops made during the week," he said. "I think that is a positive sign that people are getting the idea if they drink and drive they will probably go to jail."