(WJW) – Legendary Def Leppard Drummer Rick Allen has opened up on social media after allegedly being attacked by a suburban Cleveland teen in Florida.
Allen and his wife, Lauren Monroe, posted a photo of Allen smiling on Instagram with a caption that thanked supporters for their “overwhelming” support.
“Your love and prayers are truly helping. My wife Lauren was thankfully not with me at the time of the incident. We are together now, and working on recovering in a safe space,” the post said in part. “We are focusing on healing for everyone involved.”
Police in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said Allen and Def Leppard were performing at a casino in South Florida the weekend of March 11. Investigators say Allen was standing outside a hotel smoking a cigarette when he was suddenly attacked by Max Hartley, 19, who was visiting Florida on spring break.
Hartley, of Avon, faces two counts of battery, four counts of criminal mischief and abusing a disabled adult for the attack on Allen.
Police said Hartley, a St. Ignatius graduate who played football and lacrosse for the school, knocked Allen to the ground. According to the police report, Allen hit his head on the ground, causing injury.
Police say Hartley is also accused of knocking a woman attempting to help Allen to the ground, battering her with his fists. When she tried to escape, police say Hartley is accused of grabbing her by the hair and dragging her outside the hotel before fleeing the area.
Police say Hartley was later restrained by witnesses after he started breaking car windows and tried to break into a restaurant.
Allen gave police a statement confirming that he is pressing charges. It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol may have played a role in Hartley’s conduct.
“We ask you to join us in our effort to move from confusion and shock to compassion and empathy. We understand this act of violence can be triggering for so many people,” the Instagram caption continued. “To all of the fans, veterans, and first responders in our global community, we are thinking of you all. Together with love, we can all get through these difficult times.”
Allen is a rock legend, and his life story has been an inspiration to people around the world. In 1984, Allen’s left arm was severed in a car accident in England.
Despite the loss of his arm, Allen decided to continue playing the drums and since then has been able to perform using a specially designed electronic drum kit.
Def Leppard was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.