Def Leppard Drummer Rick Allen’s Statement on Florida Attack: ‘Together With Love, We Can All Get Through These Difficult Times’
Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen has spoken out about an incident last week in which he was allegedly assaulted by a man outside a Fort Lauderdale, Florida hotel. In a statement first issued to ABC News on Sunday (March 19), Allen, 59, thanked fans for their “overwhelming support” in the wake of the attack in which Ohio native Max Edward Hartley, 19, allegedly rushed the drummer at full speed and knocked him to the ground last weekend.
“Your love and prayers are truly helping. My wife Lauren [Monroe] was thankfully not with me at the time of the incident,” Allen said. “We are together now, and working on recovering in a safe space. We are focusing on healing for everyone involved. We ask you to join us in our effort to move from confusion and shock to compassion and empathy. We understand this act of violence can be triggering for so many people.”
Police arrested Hartley after the teen allegedly attacked Allen outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale on March 13, a day after the veteran British band played a show at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel with Mötley Crüe.
A police report noted that Hartley hid behind a pillar outside the hotel entrance while Allen smoked and then allegedly rushed at the drummer at full speed and knocked him to the ground. The report said that Allen “hit his head on the ground causing injury” and that when a woman ran out to help Allen Hartley allegedly attacked her as well.
Hartley was arrested a short time later after police found him at another hotel allegedly breaking car windows and then charged him with two counts of battery, four counts of criminal mischief and abusing an elderly or disabled adult; Allen lost his left arm after a 1984 car accident.
“To all of the fans, veterans, and first responders in our global community we are thinking of you all,” Allen said in his first official statement on the attack. “Together with love, we can all get through these difficult times.”
The Florida show came just before a break in the band’s touring schedule, with the next date scheduled for May 22 in Sheffield, England.
Read Allen’s statement below.