A 19-year-old man was arrested for attacking Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen at a Florida hotel over the weekend while the band was in Fort Lauderdale for a show with Motley Crue. Allen is planning to press charges for the incident, in which an unrelated woman was also injured.
Fort Lauderdale police said in a report that Cleveland resident Max Edward Hartley was hiding behind a pillar outside the Fort Lauderdale Four Seasons and rushed towards Allen while he was smoking a cigarette. Allen, 59, fell and hit his head, and when a female bystander attempted to intervene, Hartley attacked her as well, hitting her and dragging her by the hair before running away.
A varsity football and lacrosse player at Cleveland’s Saint Ignatius High School, Hartley was arrested at another nearby hotel, where he was breaking car windows, according to police.
A spokesperson for Def Leppard had no comment about the incident when contacted by SPIN. Hartley declined to comment to a local news team after being released from jail yesterday (March 15). He was charged with two counts of battery, four counts of criminal mischief, and abusing an elderly or disabled adult (Allen lost an arm in a 1984 accident).
Def Leppard’s next scheduled show is May 22 in its hometown of Sheffield, England. The group today announced a new album, Drastic Symphonies, which finds it backed by the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for new renditions of some of its biggest hits. The project will be released May 19.
“Def Leppard has always enjoyed veering off the expected path — working with the likes of Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, and Alison Krauss for example. So, when the offer to revisit some of our back catalog with the Royal Philharmonic was presented to us, we all jumped at it,” Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott says. “Although we’re far from the first band to ever do this, working directly with an orchestra at Abbey Road on some of our more orchestrated songs seemed too good of an opportunity to pass up.”