ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man had concert tickets to see one of his musical heroes. However, he claims a big mistake kept him from getting to his seat.
Roman Castillo loves to play the drums. It’s a passion he almost lost during a 2005 home invasion when he was shot by an attacker and paralyzed from the waist down.
“I really didn’t have any hope, I thought I was never going to play again,” Castillo told KRQE News 13.
But Castillo did play again.
He explained Rick Allen, the drummer for Def Leppard, has a lot to do with it. “He is a number one influence in my recovery, and that’s why I really wanted to be at this show in particular,” Castillo explained.
Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash. Castillo said watching Allen play, despite his handicap, was always an inspiration.
“So I was really, really happy this was my birthday present, and this is my 10th anniversary after being paralyzed,” said Castillo, pointing to his two concert tickets.
He said his producer bought him two tickets to see Def Leppard last Friday at Isleta Amphitheater.
Stuck in traffic on the way to the concert, Castillo said he called on the way to the show to make sure he could get to his seat all right.
“The man had told us that we couldn’t get down here,” Castillo recalled.
He said once he called, he learned his seats on the tickets were not handicap accessible.
“They told me that there were two seats in front of this that were handicap accessible, and they were a sold out show, there wasn’t any way to comp,” said Castillo.
Disappointed and frustrated, Castillo said he and his mom turned around in traffic and missed the concert.
Castillo said he would have moved his wheelchair somewhere else to watch the show even the lawn. But, he claims he wasn’t given the option to move seats, since the concert was sold out.
“I would have at least got a chance to hear the music and see the guy play,” said Castillo.
KRQE News 13 called Isleta Amphitheater and Live Nation to ask about the story, but no one would talk or respond to questions in an email.
“I really feel ripped off,” said Castillo.
He said he’d like to see the venue better accommodate people in wheelchairs in general.
Castillo told KRQE News 13 he got a call from a person with Live Nation on Sunday. After explaining the situation though, Castillo said the man would not give him a refund.
There are wheelchair accessible seats at Isleta Amphitheater. There’s also special parking area down below closer to the stage for those with disabilities, but Castillo said traffic in the parking lot was so bad, he couldn’t get to it.