Monkey Rum CEO dies after attempting backflip on stadium balcony during concert


A liquor company CEO and co-founder died while attempting a backflip on a balcony at Citi Field stadium in Queens, New York, during a Dead & Company concert, falling 30 to 50 feet onto concrete.

Ian Crystal, 46, reportedly tried to perform a backflip on the fifth floor of the baseball stadium during intermission during the show.

At about 9.05pm on Friday, Police responded to a 911 call. “Upon arrival, officers observed EMS personnel attending to a 46-year-old male who was suffering from injuries consistent with a fall from an elevated position,” NYPD spokesperson Detective Sophia Mason said in a statement.

“He attempted a body flip, fell, and landed on the balcony below,” police told the New York Daily News.

“We are aware of a tragic incident which sadly resulted in a fatality last night,” Harold Kaufman, a spokesperson for the New York Mets, who play in the stadium, told CNN. “Our deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to the attendee’s loved ones.”

Mr Crystal co-founded Evolution Spirits Inc during a brand development challenge and was known for his creativity.

An employee at the building in Williamsburg in Brooklyn where Mr Crystal previously lived told the paper that he was a “Good dude, quiet ... We never had an issue with him. He was a cool guy”.

“He was healthy. He was always working out,” Juan Torres, 40, added. “I remember every morning when I would come in, I’d see him running.”

“Ian Crystal. The Rooster. One of one who was always down for the next adventure or for a long conversation that could go deep or off the rails in the best way,” friend Neal Weinstein wrote on Facebook. “Left a long list of people that will miss you. Glad to have known you, buddy.”

“So devastating. He was so filled with life and happiness. Ian will be truly missed by so many,” Eric Myers commented.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Crystal graduated from Emory University and the University of Maryland but started developing brands already in High School, when he won an advertising competition with the Florida Department of Citrus.

“The task was to create and direct a promotional video to sell orange juice using a bespoke music track that told a positive and inspiring story about juice. This started my career marketing beverages and I never looked back,” Mr Crystal wrote on his profile. He later managed brands such as ABSOLUT Vodka, Malibu Rum, and Stoli Vodka, and collaborated with artists and creators including Jay-Z, Swedish House Mafia, Ne Yo, and Spike Lee, The Daily Mail reported.

He co-founded Evolution Spirits Inc in 2014 as part of a National Geographic brand development challenge, during which Monkey Rum was launched – the drink is now available in 11 states.

After falling the equivalent of two stories, he was taken to New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“The people are inebriated, the people are intoxicated,” a security guard told The New York Post. A driver working nearby the stadium said he saw the man “flip” before falling to the ground.

“He was unresponsive and he hit the ground head first. There was no way he survived,” the driver said. “He was way too drunk. You could smell it.”

“His brother came downstairs and found out he jumped,” Dan added. “His brother was with him. He was crying,” the driver added to The Post.

“I heard people going ‘ahhh’ and see people running. I said ‘bro, someone took a f**ing header’,” a fan told the paper.