Father mourns son's death after Bay Area rave

May 31, 2010 11:57:15 PM PDT
A 23-year-old Santa Clara man, Anthony Mata, died and at least two others are in critical condition after taking drugs at a rave concert over the weekend at the Cow Palace in Daly City.

Mata was one of 16,000 young people who attended a rave concert at the Cow Palace Saturday night. Police say he was one of at least eight people, ranging in age from 17 to 28, who got extremely sick after ingesting the party drug ecstasy.

"The symptoms are very severe of some of the victims, and they go beyond what is normally seen in simple drug overdoses," Captain Cory Roay from Daly City said.

The victims bled internally and suffered kidney failure, leaving police to wonder if the drugs had been cut or mixed with a toxic substance.

About 100 undercover agents were inside the rave. They handed out notices to ticket holders that they would be soliciting drugs and making arrests.

A total of 68 adults and five juveniles were arrested for selling and 800 drug tablets and capsules were seized. They are being analyzed to see if they are tied to Mata's death and the critical illness of others.

Dan Mata was told his son was unable to communicate with the emergency medical team treating him, so he's puzzled by what happened to his son.

"I've talked to all his friends, everyone that knows him. It would be completely uncharacteristic of him to take drugs," he said.

Anthony was an auto mechanic and he loved to work on his black Subaru and. He even stayed at his grandmother's house to help care for her.

In 2002, a promoter staged a similar rave party that resulted in two deaths and nine hospitalizations.

Nearly 80 drug arrests were made at a Cow Palace rave party in 2009.

"It just seems like every time we hear about these types of rave parties, nothing positive comes out of it," Mata said.

ABC7 contacted a member of the Cow Palace board of directors and he had no comment.

Results of the toxicology study of the seized drugs won't be released until tomorrow and the autopsy on Mata will be performed on Tuesday.

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