Police Say Astroworld Security Guard Wasn’t A Victim Of ‘Needle-Spiking’ — But The Assault Trend Is Still A Concern

Police are backtracking.

Travis Scott Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock

As more details emerge about the events leading up to the tragic deaths of 8 people at Travis Scott's Astroworld festival in Houston, reports of injection spikings have been denied by police — even though they initially confirmed the rumor.

During the concert, 8 people died and many more were injured in a mass crush. Police said there was also at least one case "needle spiking" in which a security guard was targeted.


Though, a new statement from Houston Police Chief Troy Finner says the guard's version of events were not consistent with earlier reports.

In recent months, reports of spiking injections have become increasingly prolific, arising fears about a new assault threat. have surfaced recently about horrific encounters that women have had with spiking injections.

What is needle spiking? 

Needle or injection spiking is the act of pricking someone with a needle without their consent and injecting them with an unknown substance.

It replicates the act of drink spiking, where substances are put into someone's drink without their knowledge, but arguably poses a greater threat as it is much more difficult to avoid. 


Police confirmed an Astroworld security guard was not spiked by injection.

Police Chief Troy Finner said on Nov 6 that a security guard working at the festival was attempting to restrain someone at the event when he felt a prick on his neck before losing consciousness.

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“[Medical staff] administered Narcan. He was revived, and the medical staff did notice a prick that was similar to a prick that you would get if someone was trying to inject,” said Finner.

But, despie the details initial claims, Finner is now back-tracking.


"We did locate that security guard. His story's not consistent with that," Finner said. "He says he was struck in his head, he went unconscious, he woke up in the security tent. He says that no one injected drugs in him, so we want to clear that part up."

It is unclear how such a mix up happened.  ​

Needle spiking report have become prevalent in the UK.

One such story involves Twitter user Carley Neilson who went out one night in Scotland.


A visit to the hospital could be a relatively positive outcome given such a scary situation.

It seems that women and men now have to be wary of rogue, needle-wielding assailants.


Another woman had to be tested for HIV among other illnesses after her encounter with a spiking injection.

On October 19th, an 18-year-old in Liverpool in the UK was waiting in line to get into a bar when she started to feel sick.

The woman had to exit the queue because of how sick she suddenly felt, saying, “We were queuing up outside and suddenly I was like 'I'm going to be sick.' I went over to the side and started throwing up. 

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“My friend told me I was flopping over, I couldn't use my legs, I couldn't really speak.”

Being unable to walk, the woman was helped into a cab, before being taken home. It wasn’t until the following morning that she felt something on her back and asked her roommate to look at it. She went to the hospital once she suspected that she was the victim of a spiking injection.


Now she has had to take a myriad of tests for diseases, including HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis.

Injection spiking poses a different threat than drink spiking.

It’s now common advice to make sure that you never lose sight of your drink and that, if you put it down and do lose sight of it, to just get another.

Products designed to cover the tops of drinks and the practice of keeping your hand over the top of your drink have become commonplace.

There are even test strips that can be placed in drinks to test for drugs.

It seems like bar and party goers have a new threat to worry about from would-be attackers. Injections.


It seems like the threat of spiking injections is only becoming more common.

Authorities and businesses are starting to take the threat of spiking injections more seriously, but it’s unclear exactly what countermeasures bar and party-goers will have to utilize next.

How can you defend against a threat that can strike anywhere in your blind spot? The target has expanded from the comparatively narrow top of someone’s drink to the entirety of their body.

But these incidents make one thing clear, it can't be left to women to prevent themselves from being spiked. 

These attackers are clearly willing to try anything to outsmart victims so businesses, police and governments may want to start thinking of new ways to prevent spiking instead of making women responsible for their own attacks. 


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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.