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Def Leppard drummer attacked outside FL hotel

An ambulance sits at the scene where two people were shot on the 4100 block of South Maplewood Avenue Wednesday Aug. 29, 2018 in Chicago. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
March 20, 2023

Rick Allen, the legendary drummer for the rock band Def Leppard, was reportedly attacked by 19-year-old Max Edward Hartley while outside his Four Seasons hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida last week. 

Allen was scheduled to play a show at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, co-headlining with rock-and-roll peers Motley Crue. 

According to Channel 7 News Miami, which obtained a copy of the police report related to the incident, Hartley was arrested and refused comment when released on bail. The police report details the attack, noting both Allen and an unidentified woman were assaulted.

Hartley reportedly ran at Allen at full speed, causing him to be knocked over and hit his head. The unidentified woman attempted to aid Allen but was then attacked by Hartley. 

“While she is on the ground, the defendant continues to batter her by striking her. [She] attempts to escape by running into the hotel. The defendant then grabs (her) by her hair and drags her out of the lobby and back onto the sidewalk before fleeing the area,” the report reads. 

Hartley, a student at Cleveland’s Saint Ignatius High School, was located by police shortly after the incident, breaking car windows at a nearby hotel. 

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He faces multiple charges including two counts of battery, four counts of criminal mischief, and abuse of an elderly or disabled adult. The last charge likely stems from Allen’s 1984 accident, in which he lost his arm. He famously returned to drumming despite his injury. 

Allen, who is pressing charges in the incident, posted an update to his fans thanking them for his support and appeasing fears his wife was also attacked in the assault.

The post reads, in part: 

“Thank you everyone for your overwhelming support. Your love and prayers are truly helping. My wife Lauren was thankfully not with me at the time of the incident. We are together now, and working on recovering in a safe space.” 

Details regarding the unidentified woman or her condition have not been released. 

Def Leppard’s next show is set to be held in Sheffield, England, on May 22. The band recently began touring following the announcement of a new record, Drastic Symphonies, a collaboration with the London Royal Philarmonic Orchestra (RPO).

In a statement regarding the new album, Allen stressed the band had worked to make something special for their fans. 

“When the offer of doing an orchestral album with the RPO was suggested we were honored. But we didn’t just want an orchestra plonked over our previous recordings,” the statement reads. “We decided to create something special where we could have something classic but present it in a brand new way that would involve making everything work in the context of Drastic Symphonies.”