Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe was arrested yesterday in Prague on charges of manslaughter stemming from a 2010 altercation with a Czech fan who came onstage during one of the band's shows and later died from injuries he sustained in the scuffle.
Czech news outlet Novinky reports (via Blabbermouth and MetalSucks) that the as-yet-unnamed fan jumped on the relatively low stage during the May 24, 2010 show at a venue called Abaton, and that he and Blythe got into a physical fight. Though there is still seemingly no video evidence of the altercation online (you can watch Lamb of God performing "In Your Words" at the show in question below), it is rumored by "those who know the band" that the fan might have been hit in the head with a microphone before being forcibly removed from the stage by security.
"Randy Blythe was falsely accused," reads a statement from Lamb of God's reps. "There is a team of lawyers working on it and he will be exonerated." Blythe's brother Mark has also said that the charge is "bogus and outrageous and will be dropped immediately." The Richmond, Virginia, band was forced to cancel its show at Prague's Rock Café that night and last night tweeted "#FreeRandyBlythe." At press time, the message has been formally retweeted nearly 1,800 times in the past 12 hours.
"I've seen many bands in that club like Devildriver, Hatebreed, etc. and every metal fan in Prague knows that this is one of the 'stage-diving-friendly' clubs," one Lamb of God fan who attended the 2010 show in question, wrote on Facebook, also according to Blabbermouth. Hatebreed and Devildriver were OK with that. The guy climbed on stage and Randy slapped him and the guy fell on the ground (NOT off the stage), [Randy] sang few words to his face and pushed him back and said that he is not OK with people on the stage. A murder? I dont think so...that hit wouldn't kill you unless you're made of glass."
Lamb of God guitarist Willie Adler spoke out about Blythe's arrest this morning, voicing the band's general confusion as to what altercation Czech officials are referring to. "It's been a rough couple of days," he said. "All I can say is that I can't recall that particular show let alone a fan being beaten on the stage. I think I would've noticed something like that considering the Dime [the 2004 murder of Pantera guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott] thing." He added that the band hoped to have its frontman released by this afternoon.
Earlier this year, Blythe spoke to SPIN for a Words of Wisdom interview in which he opened up about "remembering what's important," saying, "And for this band, it's certainly our families and where we've come from." He also stressed the importance of having a sense of perspective, citing his 20-year battle with alcoholism (he's been sober for two years): "I always thought nothing could ever beat me. But drinking beat me into a state of submission."
UPDATE (11:05 a.m. EDT): Lamb of God's representatives have released the following statement: "Lamb of God management will be issuing an official statement on Monday regarding the charges made against singer Randy Blythe. As no formal charges have yet been made and the case is only in the investigation stages, it would be premature to make an official statement filled with false truths or innuendos. Having said that, management wished to address today one false piece of information that has been included in many of the news stories released so far. Under no circumstances was there a fight of any kind involved," it reads. "This incident deals with a fan that three times during the concert jumped the barricade and rushed Randy during the performance. It is alleged that the third time, security was not able to reach him and that Randy pushed him back into the audience where supposedly he fell and hit his head."
The statement also adds that "until the investigation is concluded this weekend, nothing more will be released" by Blythe's camp.