DEF LEPPARD's RICK ALLEN Opens Up About Being Assaulted: 'I Don't Think' My Attacker 'Knew Who I Was'
May 22, 2023
DEF LEPPARD drummer Rick Allen has given his first interview since being assaulted outside a Florida hotel earlier this year.
Allen, who was in South Florida to perform a show with his DEF LEPPARD bandmates at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, was attacked on March 13 while taking a smoke break outside the Four Seasons hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
A 19-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident, but no motive was given for the attack.
Police say the suspect, who was initially hiding behind a pole, ran toward Allen at full speed, striking him and knocking him backward and slamming his head on the ground and "causing injury."
The suspect, who is facing a charge of abuse to an elderly or disabled adult without great harm, was arrested that same day and has since bonded out of jail, records show.
In his first official interview about the incident, Allen told "Good Morning America": "I heard a couple of steps. And then I just saw this dark sort of flash. And the next thing I knew was I was on the ground. I landed on my backside and then continued on, hit my head on the pavement… I reached my hand up into the air 'cause I thought I was gonna 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 that I wasn't a threat because, you know, I've only got one arm."
Allen went on to say that losing his left arm in a car accident in 1984 when he was 21 years old made him better equipped to deal with the emotional aftermath of this attack.
"I immediately just went to that place of just feeling grateful for the fact that I have an amazing wife and an incredible family," he said. "I just started just thanking a higher power for the fact that I'm still here."
Rick's DEF LEPPARD bandmate, guitarist Vivian Campbell, addressed the assault during an appearance on the March 31 episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". Describing Allen's assailant as "some kid on spring break who couldn't hold his beer or his drugs or whatever," Vivian added that "Rick will be fine. He's been through a lot worse, obviously. He's a resilient human being. He will absolutely be okay."
A few days after the incident, the 59-year-old Allen, who lost his left arm in a car accident back in 1984, took to his social media to say that he was thankful for all the support he had received from his fans. He also expressed his relief relieved his wife, Lauren, wasn't with him when the incident occurred, and he revealed that they were "working on recovering in a safe space."
Fort Lauderdale police later released 911 calls that led to the arrest of a man in connection with the Allen assault. In the first 911 call released by Fort Lauderdale police, a woman working security for the Four Seasons called around three minutes after the alleged attack.
"Apparently a guest, some guy assaulted her and was actually beating her up in front of the front of our building," the woman told 911, adding that the female victim was in the lobby of the hotel but the suspect had fled. She didn't mention Allen.
Another caller who said the suspect was trying to break into his restaurant — the Wine Garden, which is near the Four Seasons — told 911, "Send the police here right now!…I'm sitting on a fucking suspect."
Another man on the same call explained, "I was sitting out front. This guy, I caught him throwing chairs inside our establishment and then he ran."
He said the suspect was trying to break the restaurant's window, and they chased him and caught him.
A third caller from the nearby Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Hilton said: "I have an individual who has been running around breaking windows and has beat up a couple of guests at the Four Seasons, as well." He added the suspect was allegedly "very highly intoxicated."
The police report, which was obtained by TMZ, says a woman came out of the hotel to try to help Allen, but the suspect also knocked her to the ground.
The report said: "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 suspect declined to comment when approached by Miami's 7 News WSVN and was asked, 'Are you a DEF LEPPARD fan?"
Allen provided a sworn statement to police and told them that he wanted the suspect to be prosecuted.
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