Rick Allen, the longtime drummer for English rock band Def Leppard, is opening up about an attack earlier this year that left him “totally blindsided.” Allen spoke to Good Morning America about the assault on Monday, May 22, which occurred when he was smoking outside a hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in March. “I heard a couple of steps, and then I just saw this flash, and the next thing I knew I was on the ground,” he said. “I landed on my backside … hit my head on the pavement.” Then, Allen told his attacker, “‘I am no threat to you.’ I don’t think he knew who I was, but he must have seen that I wasn’t a threat because, you know, I’ve only got one arm.” Allen lost his left arm due to a 1984 car accident.
When a woman tried to help Allen, the suspect also reportedly attacked her. Police later arrested a 19-year-old man from Ohio, Max Hartley, near the hotel. He was charged with one count of aggravated battery, one count of simple battery, and four counts of criminal mischief and pleaded not guilty. Allen thanked his wife, Lauren Monroe, who was present at the interview, for her support after the 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. “And I just started thanking a higher power for the fact that I’m still here.”