Families turn down Travis Scott offer to pay for funerals

Nov 30, 2021, 1:30 AM | Updated: 3:36 pm
FILE - This photo provided by Taylor Blount shows Ezra Blount, 9, posing outside the Astroworld mus...

FILE - This photo provided by Taylor Blount shows Ezra Blount, 9, posing outside the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Nov. 5, 2021. Ezra is the youngest person to die from injuries sustained during a crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival. Several families of the 10 people who died from injuries in the crush of fans at the Astroworld festival, including the Blount family, have turned down an offer by headliner Travis Scott to pay for their loved ones’ funeral costs. (Courtesy of Taylor Blount via AP)

(Courtesy of Taylor Blount via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — Several families of the 10 people who died from injuries in a massive crowd surge at the Astroworld festival have turned down an offer by headliner Travis Scott to pay for their loved ones’ funeral costs.

Attorneys for the families of four of the victims said Tuesday that they received a letter from Scott’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, in which the offer was made.

In a letter sent Nov. 24 to the attorneys for the family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, Petrocelli said Scott extended his “deepest sympathies and condolences” to Ezra’s father, Treston Blount, and Scott had wanted to reach out personally “but does not wish to intrude on Mr. Blount’s privacy during his time of grieving.”

Ezra was the youngest person to die from injuries suffered during Scott’s concert at the sold-out festival on Nov. 5 that was attended by 50,000 people. The others who died ranged in age from 14 to 27. Some 300 people were treated at the festival site and 13 were hospitalized.

“Travis is devastated by the tragedy that occurred at the Astroworld Festival and grieves for the families whose loved ones died or were injured. Travis is committed to doing his part to help the families who have suffered and begin the long process of healing in the Houston community,” Petrocelli wrote.

In his reply, Robert Hilliard, an attorney representing Treston Blount in a lawsuit against Scott, the concert promoter and others, declined the offer, saying that while he believes Scott feels remorse, Scott must see “that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy.”

“And perhaps one day, once time allows some healing for the victims and acceptance of responsibility by Mr. Scott and others, Treston and Mr. Scott might meet — as there is also healing in that,” Hilliard said. “For now, Mr. Scott must respect the fact that his pain and his devastation pale to Treston’s, Ezra’s mom, and the other victims.”

Petrocelli did not immediately return a call or email seeking comment Tuesday.

Michael Lyons, an attorney for the family of 27-year-old Mirza “Danish” Baig, said he viewed the offer to pay for funeral costs partly as a public relations ploy by Scott to “soften people up” in the court of public opinion. Baig’s family declined the offer, he said.

“Sadly, for my clients, a check from Travis Scott … is not going to relieve the pain and suffering that they presently are experiencing,” Lyons said. “I think it will only make it worse.”

Richard Mithoff, an attorney for the family of 14-year-old John Hilgert, also declined Scott’s offer.

Valerie Cortinas Fisher, a lawyer for the family of 23-year-old Rodolfo “Rudy” Peña, said her clients are grieving and have yet to consider Scott’s offer.

Peña’s family, who is from Laredo, Texas, traveled to Houston on Monday to visit a memorial site near where the concert was held.

Maria de los Angeles Peña, Rodolfo Peña’s mother, remembered her son a joyful person who loved life and was a good student.

“I want to say to the world, take care of your children, pray for them, watch where they go, and Travis Scott, God bless him. How there is earthly law, there is also divine law,” she said.

Tony Buzbee, who is representing the family of 21-year-old Axel Acosta Avila, said in an email Tuesday he had received a voicemail from a lawyer who was not Petrocelli making an offer for funeral expenses.

“The offer made didn’t warrant a response,” Buzbee said.

Attorneys for the families of others who died at the festival did not immediately return emails or calls seeking comment.

Scott and the event organizers are the focus of a criminal investigation by Houston police. No timetable has been set for when the investigation would be completed.

___

Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, trai...
Associated Press

Russia rejects UK claim of trying to replace Ukraine leader

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday rejected a British claim that Russia was seeking to replace Ukraine’s government with a pro-Moscow administration, and that former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevheniy Murayev was being considered as a potential candidate. Britain’s Foreign Office on Saturday also named several other Ukrainian politicians it said had links with Russian […]
1 day ago
A villager, dressed in a traditional bear costume, celebrates the Malanka festival in the village o...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Ukrainians observe pagan-rooted new year festival

KRASNOILSK, Ukraine (AP) — Dressed as goats, bears, oxen and cranes, many Ukrainians ring in the new year in the colorful rituals of the Malanka holiday. Malanka, which draws on pagan folk tales, marks the new year according to the Julian calendar, meaning it falls on Jan. 13-14. In the festivities, celebrants go from house […]
1 day ago
A man repairs a 10-meter wooden row boat, built in the Nordic clinker boat tradition, at the Viking...
Associated Press

UNESCO lists Viking-era wooden sailboats on heritage list

ROSKILDE, Denmark (AP) — For thousands of years, wooden sailboats allowed the peoples of Northern Europe to spread trade, influence and sometimes war across seas and continents. In December, the U.N.’s culture agency added Nordic “clinker boats” to its list of traditions that represent the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and […]
1 day ago
Migrants gather near the Hungarian border, outside of the village of Martonosh, Serbia, Thursday, J...
Associated Press

Migrants at Hungary border become part of election campaign

MAJDAN, Serbia (AP) — A group of migrants huddles beside a small, smoky fire inside an abandoned building in northern Serbia, the last moments of warmth before they set out into the driving snow toward the razor wire, cameras and sensors of Hungary’s electrified border fence. A few hours later, they return, their efforts to […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History

Today in History Today is Sunday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2022. There are 342 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 23, 2020, Chinese state media said the city of Wuhan would be shutting down outbound flights and trains, trying to halt the spread of a new virus that […]
1 day ago
Aleena Mir, a journalist with Kashmir Walla, records the news bulletin inside a studio of her offic...
Associated Press

In Kashmir, India batters press freedom — and journalists

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — For five years, Sajad Gul wrote about conflict wracking his homeland, a disputed Himalayan territory where a violent armed rebellion and India’s brutal counterinsurgency have raged for over three decades. That changed on a snowy Wednesday night in January with a knock at his house. Gul was surrounded by Indian soldiers […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Families turn down Travis Scott offer to pay for funerals