KPRC 2 Investigates: Here’s who was hired to handle ‘crowd control’ at the Astroworld Festival

KPRC 2 Investigates is taking a deeper look into the security companies training and hiring practices ahead of the festival

HOUSTON, Texas – Their yellow jackets and vests stand out in the seas of people attending Houston’s largest events, but former security guards say the hiring and training practices Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC) uses fail to equip personnel with the skills necessary to handle bigger problems.

“I’m sure a lot of them were overwhelmed and didn’t have the proper training, and just really didn’t know what to do,” said the former security guard who worked the festival, Darius Williams.

KPRC 2 Investigates could not find a valid private security license for Williams on the state’s website, although there was a notation that he had recently applied.

Williams said he ultimately left the job before the gates opened because he was concerned about the event.

“They kind of needed a certain number of people, and once they met that quota, they just kind of threw us to the wolves,” Williams said.

CSC bills itself as the “Leader in Crowd Management,” and according to their corporate website, the company has been in business for more than 54 years and handles 25,000 events worldwide annually with 60,000 “trained team members.”

The degree of “training” these team members have has been an issue before.

“I think they’re anything but professional,” attorney Joe Melugin said in a recent interview.

Melugin sued CSC in 2015 after his client claimed that an implanted medical device malfunctioned after the man was “wanded,” at a Texans game.

Melugin contended in the case that CSC made no provision for his client to avoid the security procedure when it’s clear security personnel should have. The case was settled out of court.

Also in 2015, CSC ran into trouble following an incident involving University of Houston students who rushed the field after a game. The university terminated its contract with CSC after finding that some of the security guards mistreated some of the fans who poured onto the field.

The Harris County District Clerk’s website is littered with lawsuits against the company.

A visit to their regional office in Houston late last week yielded no comment from administrators locked inside.

An email sent to corporate managers from KPRC 2 Investigates remained unanswered Monday afternoon.


KPRC 2 Investigates: HFD’s Official Astroworld Concert Activity Log

9-year-old Ezra Blount dies after being trampled at Astroworld Festival, bringing death toll to 10

16-year-old Heights HS student who died at Astroworld Festival to be laid to rest

Victims of Astroworld Festival tragedy honored at high school football game

18-year-old Astroworld concertgoer caught on video trying to stop show after getting caught in crowd surge

‘Extremely complex’: Lead attorney in 2017 Las Vegas shooting assesses Astroworld Festival case

Astroworld Festival security guard says he had no training or experience ahead of event

Verified ways to help: GoFundMe launches Astroworld Festival Relief Hub

About the Authors:

Award-winning broadcast journalist covering local, regional, national and international stories. Recognized in the industry for subject matter expertise including: Legal/Court Research, the Space Industry, Education, Environmental Issues, Underserved Populations and Data Visualization.