Party-goers' calls to 911 reveal how intense the rave was.
"It's a party, I feel bad for breaking it up," said one caller. "This guy needs help. He's OD'ing right now. He's about to die."
On social media, though, the crowd threatened authorities, so emergency personnel had to be careful.
"Nobody's going to come in there, because there are too many people talking about rioting. I need you to bring him out to the road and get him help," a 911 dispatcher said in response to the call described above.
The sheriff's department is also investigating a reported sexual assault at the event, but Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell says the victim's level of intoxication at the time of the reported crime has made it difficult.
Purcell says the department's main goal now is to prevent a similar gathering from happening again, by monitoring social media and threatening to seize the organizers' vehicles if they continue to plan another rave.
Investigators say this was the second event of this type Johnson, Misner and Taylor have organized. Purcell says he stands by his decision not to break up the rave, based on anti-police comments the crowd was chanting, as well as talk of rioting if officers intervened. He also says breaking up the event would have put the participants at greater risk, as many of them were visiting the area and could get lost or potentially hit by vehicles.
Police and paramedics arrived to find Five Mile Road almost entirely blocked by vehicles near the party location.
Dispatchers labeled the party a "mass casualty incident" response, which meant they were calling in every available deputy, officer, trooper and paramedic from Mecosta and neighboring Montcalm and and Isabella counties.
But even with the large police response, the party was far more than what police could have handled from the inside, Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell said.
At least 2,000 people are believed to have attended.
"We were so outnumbered," Purcell said.
Despite the hard drug use and underage drinking going on — authorities believe the majority of attendees were under the age of 21 — police did not attempt to break things up or go in to hand out citations.
They chose instead to manage the scene by allowing the party to continue for several more hours, with multiple police agencies standing by. It was that or risk hundreds of intoxicated drivers fleeing and taking to area roadways.The majority of those drivers were people that do not live in Mecosta County. They did not know the rural roads well, Purcell said.
Another concern was potential injury to responding police and paramedics.
"We had information they were not in a cop-friendly attitude," Purcell said of those gathered.
Police remained on scene until about 7:30 a.m. Sunday.