Cro-Mags founder defends himself after stabbing incident

Former band member Harley Flanagan allegedly stabbed and bit members of the current line-up

Cro-Mags founder Harley Flanagan has defended himself following his arrest for allegedly attacking three members of the band’s current line-up before a gig earlier this month.

The incident allegedly took place on July 6 in the VIP room at New York City’s Webster Hall, where Cro-Mags were due to perform as part of the first CGBG Festival. Flanagan, who last played bass for the hardcore punk band in 2002, was reported to have appeared brandishing a knife, before allegedly stabbing his replacement Mike ‘The Gook’ Couls and allegedly biting two other members.

Speaking to New York Natives, Flanagan says he went to the gig to make amends with the band’s singer John Joseph, but was jumped on by a group of men when he went backstage, in what he calls “an old fashion biker beat down”.

He says: “When I saw that door get pulled shut, I was literally fighting for my life. I was afraid these guys were going to kick me half to death, roll me down the back steps, and that no one would see it… and there would be no witnesses and that would be that… And all I could think about was getting home safe to my kids… I wanted to save my life, to protect myself, and these guys were trying to do me in.”

Of the stabbing incident, he added: “It was more just in self-defense to get them fuck off me.” Flanagan states that he too was cut in the leg with a knife, which he said needed 30 stitches.

After the incident, CBGB Festival organisers cancelled the gig immediately and released a statement saying: “Our primary concern is always the safety and experience of New Yorkers, music fans and the general public. We don’t feel the actions of one person should overshadow four amazing days and nights of events.”