Massive East Texas pasture party thwarted - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Massive East Texas pasture party thwarted

Pasture party thwarted. (Source: KLTV Staff) Pasture party thwarted. (Source: KLTV Staff)

Plans for another massive pasture party were thwarted over the weekend after several law enforcement agencies met to tackle the party before it even happened. You might remember the nearly 5,000 person pasture party that caught officials off guard in Van Zandt County in June. Well, in a meeting Saturday morning Van Zandt County officials helped Smith County Officials shut down a planned pasture party in Tyler for that night.

More than 19,000 were invited to a party in a forest in Tyler.

“We’ve been working on this and anticipating it since this is happening, since the one in Van Zandt County. So, we had our antennas up,” Sheriff Larry Smith, with Smith County, said.

When they saw the event on Facebook, the posts along with it, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith planned his own party Saturday morning with several law enforcement agencies, including Van Zandt County officials.

“They didn’t even have any idea before it happened that it was going to happen in Van Zandt County, so at least we had the luxury of being forewarned that it was coming,” Sheriff Smith said.

They discussed their options, he said, “what resources it would take if it if we couldn’t get it shut down beforehand and I can just tell you that it would have been disastrous, a potential disaster if we would have waited.”

The group decided to meet with the promoter, listed on that event as Electric Rabbit, and the landowner from the address where it was set to happen, to review their options. They presented them with the state health and safety code for mass gatherings, which the event, at more than 700 RSVP’s, certainly classified under.

“They have crowd control, they have security, they have parking, none of which they have out there. So we gave him the option to go ahead and go through with the party, but his option then would be arrested,” Sheriff Smith explained.

Law enforcement did put a damper on the plans. A post Saturday by Electric Rabbit notified attendees that the party was canceled due to rain.

In another post a partier explains they’re excited to leave in just 10 minutes to drive from Nacogdoches.

“They did move it to an alternate location and you can tell that they read the health and safety code that I provided them with on Saturday because they limited it to less than 500 people.”

They hosted it in a building in Tyler with just a fraction of the original invite list to avoid compliance with those state codes. All of this, a plan all law enforcement departments involved agree to stick with next time.

“To educate them that they were not following the law and to educate them on what the law says instead of trying to holler gotcha after they got everything started which would have been the worst thing for us to do.”

Sheriff Smith explained they are not trying to ruin anyone’s fun, but mass gatherings have become unsafe with rampant underage drinking and drug use. There will be no arrests or criminal charges since that party did not happen. He said they have already gotten word of future parties and plan to take the same approach with the next one.

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