According to the Daily News, the CBGB Festival at Webster Hall in New York City was canceled Friday night after a former member of the legendary hardcore band CRO-MAGS assaulted two people, including at least one current member of the group.
William Berario, 45, was slashed above the eye and bitten on his cheek, and Michael Couls, 33, was cut on his arm and stomach during the incident, which happened around 8:30 p.m. The attacker, who has been identified by the New York Post and the Daily News as Harley Flanagan, the 44-year-old founding member of the CRO-MAGS, was seen in photographs posted on BoweryBoogie.com being wheeled from the venue by EMTs. He was reportedly taken to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for a broken leg and was charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
The concert, which was scheduled to include appearances by SICK OF IT ALL, CRO-MAGS and VISION OF DISORDER — was part of the CBGB Festival, which is featuring musical performances by over 300 artists at venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn through Sunday.
"You can all thank Harley Flanagan for ruining the night for everyone," CRO-MAGS lead singer John Joseph told the crowd (see video below).
The organizers of the CBGB Festival later released a statement, saying, "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."
In a 2010 interview, Harley stated about Joseph, "The guy has been pretty much a bullshit artist since the old days . . If John EVER actually has the balls to back up all the shit he talks, to step up, I'll beat his ass. Again... That is if he EVER has the balls to actually step up to the hundreds of times I've called him out, e-mailed him, called him, etc. . . Me and him both know the truth and we both know he's a fraud. A really fake motherfucker and all that 'spiritual' shit is just another smokescreen."