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Cro-Mags Founder Harley Flanagan Arrested for Allegedly Stabbing + Biting Band’s Current Members at NYC Gig

Harley Flanagan

Harley Flanagan, a founder and former bassist of the influential hardcore punk/metal act Cro-Mags, was arrested last night (July 6) for allegedly stabbing and biting two current members of the band. The chaotic scene took place at New York City’s Webster Hall, where Cro-Mags were slated to play a gig along with Sick of It All as part of the CBGB Festival.

According to the New York Post, Flanagan, 42, stormed into the VIP section of the club with a hunting knife, causing around 30 people to rush out to a nearby balcony in a panic. He allegedly proceeded to slash current Cro-Mags bassist Michael ‘The Gook’ Couls, 33, on the arm and stomach. He also apparently slashed William Berario, 45, above the eye while biting him on the cheek. Berario is also reported to be a member of the current Cro-Mags lineup. Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital.

Flanagan himself didn’t come out unscathed, as he suffered a broken leg when security guards subdued him in a violent clash. He was taken away in a wheelchair to a hospital, and is facing second degree assault and weapons charges.

The concert was subsequently canceled, with Cro-Mags singer John Joseph McGowan telling the crowd, “You can all thank Harley Flanagan for ruining the night for everyone.”

Photos of the aftermath can be seen at Organizers of the CBGB Festival, which is a multi-day event taking place at several venues across New York City, released the following statement:

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.

Cro-Mags are an influential act who formed in the 1980s and have released five albums over the years. Their 1986 debut album, ‘The Age of Quarrel,’ is considered to be a classic disc in the hardcore-metal scene. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

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