Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen has opened up for the first time about being violently attacked by a stranger in March. Speaking to Good Morning America, Allen described the moment he was confronted, and went on to thank his family for their support.
Allen was attacked outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Fort Lauderdale after a Stadium Tour show with Mötley Crüe, at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL.
“I heard a couple of steps, and then I just saw this dark, sort of flash, and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground,” says Allen. “I landed on my backside and then continued on, hit my head on the pavement.
“I reached my hand up into the air because I thought I was going to get attacked again. And I just said, ‘I am no threat to you.’ I don’t think he knew who I was, but he must’ve seen I wasn’t a threat because I’ve only got one arm.”
According to the Fort Lauderdale police report, a 19-year-old man ran at Allen at full speed, knocking him backwards, where he hit his head on the ground and sustained an injury. The report went on to say that a second victim came to assist Allen, but the attacker knocked her to the ground then continued to batter her. The second victim attempted to escape into the hotel, but was dragged back by the hair by the attacker, who then fled the scene.
The alleged attacker, Max Hartley, was later arrested and charged with two counts of battery, four counts of criminal mischief, and one count of abusing an elderly or disabled adult. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was released on bail.
“I immediately just went to that place of just feeling grateful for the fact that I have an amazing wife and an incredible family,” Allen tells Good Morning America. “I just started thanking a higher power for the fact that I’m still here. I know that I’m not going to be playing music in a band forever. But while I am, I plan on making as many people happy as I possibly can. This is my opportunity. If only we could view other things in that way, you know, we’re only here for a limited time.”
In 2001, Allen and his wife, Lauren Monroe, launched the Raven Drum Foundation to help survivors of trauma, with a focus on veterans and first responders.
The first show of Def Leppard’s European Stadium tour with Mötley Crüe took place last night in the band’s hometown of Sheffield. Def Leppard’s new orchestral album, Drastic Symphonies, is out now.