Def Leppard’s one-armed drummer Rick Allen was attacked Monday by an apparent stranger outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL, with police saying Allen suffered a head injury after a teenager charged at the unsuspecting drummer and knocked him backwards onto the ground.
Max Edward Hartley, 19, an Ohio resident visiting Florida and reportedly on spring break, was arrested and charged with two counts of battery, four counts of criminal mischief and abusing an elderly or disabled adult.
According to a Fort Lauderdale Police report, the 59-year-old Allen was smoking a cigarette outside the hotel when Hartley, who’d been hiding behind a pole, charged toward Allen “at a full run” and knocked him backwards to the ground. Allen struck his head on the pavement in the fall.
Police say a woman came out of the hotel to help Allen after seeing the incident and also was knocked to the ground by Hartley, who then grabbed the woman’s hair and dragged her back inside the hotel. Hartley was arrested after he ran to another nearby hotel, where he allegedly damaged a number of cars in a parking garage. After the charges were filed, he posted bail and was released.
According to WSVN-TV in Fort Lauderdale, Allen provided a sworn statement to police and told them that he wants to prosecute.
Information of Allen’s condition has not been released. Neither he nor the band has yet commented on the incident.
Def Leppard was in Florida for a March 12 concert with Mötley Crüe at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Allen lost his arm as a result of a 1984 automobile accident. He subsequently re-taught himself to play drums with just his right arm and both feet, using a custom-built kit, and has remained Def Leppard’s drummer ever since. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band has sold more than 35.5 million albums in the U.S. alone, including two Diamond-certified 10 million-sellers in Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987).
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