Social media encouraged #ProjectP rave, also helped police response

MECOSTA COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) -- It started on social media, and ended with thousands of people partying in rural West Michigan. In the end, police turned to social media themselves to figure out how to deal with the crowd.

More than 2,000 people gathered at the farmhouse where the weekend rave, dubbed Project P, happened near Remus in Mecosta County. A 14-year-old is among those who who overdosed there, and there's an allegation of sexual assault at the rave, as well.

On Twitter, #ProjectP helped attract the crowd on 70th Avenue. There were dancers, a DJ, and even a tattoo artist. Around 9pm, there was so much noise and traffic that neighbors called police.

"We called in for extra resources in surrounding counties," said Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell. He showed up at the scene to help and says his officers were monitoring social media. Many of the tweets using #ProjectP hinted at violence.

The situation "erupted into partygoers saying to police, 'We're going to riot, we're going to trash this place,'" the Sheriff said.

RELATED:Mecosta County Rave party attracts 2,000 dozens hospitalized

Many of the partygoers were drunk and high on drugs. There were six drug-overdoses, including that of a 14-year-old.

Police opted not to make any arrests, though. Instead, they allowed the crowd to disperse on its own under the authorities' watchful eyes.

Monday afternoon, the area was still littered with garbage. The owner of the home was not there, but his son, James Taylor, was. He told WZZM 13 that someone else hosted the party and they didn't supply anyone with liquor or drugs.

"The whole situation continues to be under investigation. And the more we learn, the more we turn over to the prosecutor for review," said Sheriff Purcell.

The party clearly got out of hand, and people got hurt -- but despite it all tweets afterward called the rave a "Night I will never forget," "Insane," and said "Project P needs to happen again."

There are rumors that another Project P is in the works. Police say they will be monitoring social media to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

As for those drug overdoses, the people affected have since been treated and released from the hospital.

Also following the rave, Michigan State Police say a drunk driver leaving the party slammed into a home in the village of Mecosta. The crash happened around 3:30 a.m. Sunday on East Main Street.

Troopers say a driver lost control of his car, which became airborne after striking a ditch. The car drove through a yard at a moderate speed and hit the front porch of a house, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

No one was inside the house at the time, and three drunk males in the car were not hurt. All three admitted to drinking at the earlier rave party.

The driver of the car was arrested and lodged in the Mecosta County Jail. A chemical breath analysis showed he had a blood alcohol level of .12, which is one and a half times the legal limit.


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