Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen details attack for first time since recovery

Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen has spoken out for the first time about his experience of being assaulted earlier this year.

In March, the 59-year-old rock musician was smoking a cigarette outside a Fort Lauderdale hotel in Florida when a 19-year-old male suspect ran toward him, knocking him over.

The attack caused Allen to fall and hit his head on the ground, causing injury, according to police.

Now, having recovered months after the incident, he detailed the assault during a Monday (22 May) appearance on Good Morning America.

“I heard a couple of steps and then I just saw this [flash] and the next thing I knew was I was on the ground,” Allen recalled. “I landed on my backside… hit my head on the pavement.”

Allen, who lost one of his arms in a car crash in 1984, said he reached out a hand to tell the assailant, “I’m 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,” the drummer said.

Rick Allen (Getty Images)
Rick Allen (Getty Images)

The suspect, identified as Max Hartley, allegedly attacked a woman who came to help Allen, who’d fallen down. He reportedly struck her before she attempted to run back to the hotel.

Hartley was later arrested after he was found allegedly damaging vehicles in the parking lot of a neighbouring hotel. He’s been charged with two counts of battery and four counts of criminal mischief, according to police records. He’s pled not guilty to all charges.

In a statement to authorities, Allen said he would like Hartley to be punished.

Allen’s wife of 20 years, Lauren Monroe, was across the country at the time of the attack.

“My heart just completely sank into me,” she told Good Morning America. “I know the journey of trauma… And so everything stopped in our house and focused on him.”

Allen added: “I immediately just went to that place of just feeling grateful for the fact that I have an amazing wife and an incredible family.

“And I just started thanking a higher power for the fact that I’m still here.”