HINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The young men who organized what authorities are calling a “rave” in rural Mecosta County during which several people were injured and there was alleged a sexual assault said they don’t regret it — though they said they’re sorry people got hurt.
The party, which started Saturday night and lasted into early Sunday, drew more than 2,000 people — many under the age of 21, authorities said — to an old farm on 70th Avenue near 5 Mile Road in Hinton Township, west of Blanchard.
Seven people were hurt during the event — some from what may have been alcohol and drug overdoses. One man broke his collar bone. One woman reported being sexually assaulted in a vehicle. Authorities are investigating.
Zack, Danny, Tristan and Jaymo — who asked not to be identified with their last names — told 24 Hour News 8 they put together the rave.
“I’m not ashamed of it at all, though,” Jaymo said.
“I don’t regret it. Not one bit,” Tristan agreed.
“We threw a party and that’s not illegal,” Danny said. “We wanted to have fun and we wanted people to come out and have fun and enjoy their time. We had an amazing time.”
But they said they didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt.
“Some of them people got hurt. I do feel bad. I do feel bad. I do feel bad for them and their families. That ain’t OK,” Danny said.
The four say they planned the party for about two months. They previously held a smaller party that drew about 1,000 people. They said the point was to have fun.
“You come, you dance, you meet all these people and you have fun,” Danny said.
But they admitted there were so many people at Saturday night’s party that they started to lose control.
“The safety thing became … way out of our limits. We weren’t able to control it after all them people started to arrive,” Danny said.
About 20 police officers from seven departments responded to the party — but they didn’t break it up for fear of so many driving drunk or under the influence of drugs and causing more injuries, according the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office.
The four organizers said they were grateful for the police presence.
“We are glad the police were there for control,” Danny said.
“They really did help. I thank them. It would have been a lot more crazy if they didn’t show up. It could have been out of control,” Tristan said.
The organizers said they invited people to bring tents and spend the night, and that they instructed people who planned to bring a designated driver. It mostly worked, authorities say.
“The majority of the people that came out were responsible enough to have designated drivers,” Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell said.
But at least one person appears to have been driving drunk after the party. Around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, someone crashed a car into a home in the Village of Mecosta. The driver told authorities he had just come from the party, and Michigan State Police say his blood-alcohol content (BAC) level was .12. Michigan’s legal limit to drive is .08.
The Mecosta County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing police reports and the organizers could face criminal charges.
But the four want to get into the entertainment industry and say they want to plan other parties. Next time, they said, they will have better crowd control.
“More organized. More professional,” Danny said.
“Going to be legit. It’s going to be legit next time,” Tristan added.