Like Phish in a barrel; Police arrest more than 115 during three concerts

Posted at: 07/09/2013 5:54 PM
Updated at: 07/09/2013 6:17 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The music wasn't the only thing flowing freely in and around Saratoga Performing Arts Center last weekend. Police say illegal drugs were everywhere. They made arrests for sale and possession of cocaine, heroine, LSD, bath salts, marijuana and Ketamine.

"I'm sorry to say this probably is the worst weekend for drug arrests in many years that I have seen. We had 80 arrests just over the weekend at SPAC and  in and around that vicinity," said Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy .

Saratoga Springs police say the three days were among the busiest in memory.

"Over a 72-hour period, the police department had 460 calls for service, which is considerably, maybe about 150, more than we would normally have in that time period," said Lt. John Catone.

Saratoga Hospital says 45 people were treated for drug and alcohol-related illnesses related to the concerts at SPAC. A hospital spokesperson says they brought in extra staff in advance because they anticipated the rush.

Police say one Phish concert-goer even died as a result of a drug overdose.

Police say Ketamine, street name "Special K," is among the drugs of choice this year. It's used by doctors as an anesthetic. But people are using it in powder form to get high.

"It depresses the body and it also causes memory loss. It is a drug that can kill you taken in large amounts," explained Patty Kilgore, clinical director of the Saratoga Springs-based  Prevention Council.

Murphy says that of the 115 arrests, 40 were for felonies.