RALEIGH: Family believes man was drugged at Maryland concert - WNCN: News, Weather

Family believes Raleigh man was drugged at Maryland concert

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Tyler Fox Viscardi, 20, of Raleigh, died after being transported from a concert in Columbia, Maryland Tyler Fox Viscardi, 20, of Raleigh, died after being transported from a concert in Columbia, Maryland
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The family of a Raleigh man who died Friday after being hospitalized during an all-day concert in Maryland believes water that was given to him was drugged.

Tyler Fox Viscardi, 20, of Raleigh, died after being transported to Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Maryland. Police said a preliminary investigation determined his death appears to have been the result of a drug overdose.

Police said Viscardi, who was a student at the University of Maryland, was attending the all-day Mad Decent Block Party at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia on Friday when he was rushed to the hospital.

In a statement provided by his sister, the family called Viscardi's death "a terrible mishap" and said they believe Viscardi was given a bottle of water that "contained a substance, unbeknownst to him, to which he had a toxic reaction."

"According to his close college friend who was with him, the afternoon was hot and he drank water that was given to him by others who were in the area," the family said.

Police said they believe MDMA, a synthetic psychoactive drug known as ecstasy or Molly, was commonly used at the concert. However, officials are still working to determine what type of drugs were in Viscardi's system at the time of his death.

"They have them [Mad Decent Block Parties] all over the country and all over the world, and it's our understanding from our detectives that drug use is very, very prevalent at these shows," Howard County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said.

Seth Hurwitz, the chairman of IMP and operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion, released a written statement about the incident Sunday.

"Our hearts go out to the family as they face the unimaginable," Hurwitz wrote. "As a parent, it makes me horribly sad beyond words to think of a tragedy like this. We can spend every minute of the day making perfect sense to our children regarding the obvious perils of drugs, but sometimes it is impossible to convince them that this is relevant to their world."

He added, "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."

In addition to Viscardi, police said 20 people were also taken to the hospital during the concert. A 17-year-old from Virginia also died after being transported. Many of the cases appeared to be drug-related, police said.

The Mad Decent Block Party travels the country, and typically starts in the mid-afternoon and runs until about midnight.

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