Cro-Mags founder accused of stabbing, biting band members at Webster Hall
A former member of the hard-core punk band the Cro-Mags attacked two of the group’s current members with a hunting knife in a dressing room before a show at Webster Hall yesterday — biting one and slashing both.
The band was about to take the stage about 8:15 p.m. when tattooed rocker Harley Flanagan, 42, barreled through the East Village venue’s VIP section toward the Cro-Mags’ dressing room, sending nearly 30 guests on the balcony into a frenzy, law enforcement sources and witnesses said.
“Someone was yelling, ‘Get his hands, get his hands, he’s got a knife!’ ” witness Dave Gustav said. “Everything went nuts.”
Several beefy security guards rushed to contain Flanagan, who seemed about to boil over before he entered the East Village venue.
“I talked to him outside minutes before it happened and I knew something was going to go down,” a witness said, according to the Horns Up Rocks website. “He was like a lunatic outside. Next thing I know he’s in the VIP area stabbing people!”
Flanagan, the band’s former bassist and founder, suffered a broken leg by the time security finally pinned him down, witnesses said. Cops handcuffed him to a chair and took him out.
“People started booing him and throwing stuff at him,” eyewitness Justin Brannan said. “His hands were handcuffed but he still gave everyone the finger.”
William Berario, 45, was slashed above the eye and bitten on his cheek. Michael Couls, 33, — the band’s current bassist, who is known in the hardcore world as “The Gook” — was cut on his arm and stomach.
Both members of Cro-Mags were taken to Bellevue Hospital with non life-threatening wounds.
Flanagan, a New York native, was also taken to the hospital. He was hit with two counts of 2nd degree assault and weapons charges.
The melee forced the East 11th Street concert venue to cancel the show, which was part of the CBGB Festival and also featured the band Sick of It All.
“You can all thank Harley Flanagan for ruining the night for everyone,” Cro-Mags lead singer John Joseph McGowan told the crowd.
Additional reporting by Helen Freund