Former Cro-Mags Bassist Harley Flanagan Arrested for Stabbing, Biting New Band Members at CBGB Festival
Former Cro-Mags bassist and founding member Harley Flanagan reportedly attacked current members of the band last night (July 6) at the first-ever CBGB Festival, a weekend event taking place at Webster Hall in New York City. Flanagan was arrested after allegedly stabbing and biting the victims.
The New York Post reports that the Cro-Mags — one of the most influential hardcore bands of the ’80s, whose debut album ‘Age of Quarrel’ has long been viewed as one of the genre’s essentials — were set to take the stage at 8:15PM when Flanagan crashed the VIP balcony of the venue, making a beeline for the Mags’ dressing room. He was brandishing a hunting knife, which sent about 30 people congregated in the VIP area fleeing in a frenzy.
Eyewitness Dave Gustav said, “Someone was yelling, ‘Get his hands, get his hands, he’s got a knife! Everything went nuts.” Another concertgoer saw an enraged Flanagan outside before the incident, saying, “I talked to him outside minutes before it happened and I knew something was going to go down. He was like a lunatic outside.”
In the melee, the disgruntled Flanagan stabbed Michael “The Gook” Couls, the band’s current bassist and apparently one of his replacements. Member William Berario was slashed above the eye and bitten on the cheek. They were each rushed to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Six security guards bumrushed Flanagan, who suffered a broken leg himself by the time security was able to restrain him and pin him down. He was handcuffed to a chair and escorted out. Another witness said that fans were booing and throwing things at him — and even though he was handcuffed, he still flashed the bird.
Flanagan also received treatment at a hospital and now faces two counts of second degree assault, as well as criminal weapon possession charges. The show was ultimately canceled.
“You can all thank Harley Flanagan for ruining the night for everyone,” Cro-Mags frontman John Joseph McGowan told the crowd.
We are saddened to learn about the events that occurred last night at Webster Hall. Our primary concern is always the safety and experience of New Yorkers, music fans and the general public. Naturally we will fully cooperate with law enforcement while hoping for the speedy recovery of those injured. Live music can be incredibly uplifting, empowering and positive. We don’t feel the actions of one person should overshadow four amazing days and nights of events that include today’s historic and unprecedented free concerts in Times Square and Central Park.