Guitarist Ralph Santolla of the Florida-based death metallers DEICIDE has issued a statement regarding the events of last Friday (July 14) when the band's show at Hustlers in Laredo, Texas was shut down by the police after four songs and Santolla was arrested during the ensuing chaos (allegedly for throwing a beer bottle at one of the officers) (see previous BLABBERMOUTH.NET stories: Story#1, Story#2). Ralph's statement reads as follows:
"Here's what happened: We pulled up at the hotel in Laredo around 4 in the afternoon. One of the local promoters, Liz, tells us to be downstairs at 6:30 to go to the venue. After we sit outside waiting for 45 minutes in the heat, we decided to go on our own. The first thing I see when we get there is this Liz chick sitting on her ass in ther venue. I said, 'Hey, thanks for leaving us sitting around waiting for you to pick us up.'
"Not a great start.
"Things were bad from the beginning. There was no stage. There were about 50 high school-looking kids standing around with tons of gear everywhere. The promoter said, 'We'll set you guys up after all the other bands, right before you play.' We were like, 'That's not how it works. Tell these kids to get their gear out of the way so we can set up, then they can set up in front of us.' That's pretty normal.
"It took these people an hour to figure out how to move 1/2 a drum set out of our way. A bad start.
"We asked for two hours for our rider, so we could get some water, but this Liz girl wasn't capable of giving straight answers to anything, and was a lot more concerned with her local band buddies concerns than putting on a show. We should never have been booked there in the first place.
"Right before we go onstage, they tell us their not paying us what they agreed to in the contract. A lot of promoters who aren't experienced don't seem to understand a guarantee means just that — a guarantee. If they risk their cash to put on a show, and then they don't promote or whatever, no matter whose fault it is, they take the hit, not the bands. They never complain when they make a lot of extra cash, but they squeal like a stuck pig when they don't.
"So anyway, we go onstage, and the power starts cutting out instantly. So they didn't provide a venue, enough power, a stage, the money, or a working P.A. We had to stop every 30 seconds. Finally, somebody says they're making us stop, so we go offstage. I went upstairs on the balcony to find my cigarettes. I'm standing there talking to the guys from RINGWORM, and I turned around and some fucking Nazi in a police uniform pepper sprays me and throws me on the ground. They didn't say, 'Stop, get on the ground,' nothing. Just ran up to me and sprayed me. They threw me down and I said, 'Why am I being arrested?' and one of them says, 'You threw a beer bottle at me.' I said, 'ME????' and one of the other cops starts yelling, 'SHUT THE FUCK UP, SHUT THE FUCK UP, I SAW YOU, I SAW YOU.' Then one of them puts his knee into my neck and puts all of his weight on it and starts grinding my face into the ground. Now, the thing is, this whole time, I'm just laying there being still. I can't see, I can't breathe, nothing. So it's not like I was struggling or resisting.
"If you've never been pepper sprayed, it fucking hurts. So now my hand is all fucked up, I've got a loose tooth, a bunch of stuff. Jack Owen [DEICIDE guitarist] told me the next day that he saw somebody in the crowd throw a beer up in the air. It bounced off something and hit the ground near the cop, and then all the cops went running up the stairs.
"That's it. I've done a lot of stupid things, but throwing bottles at cops isn't one of them."