Cannibal Corpse have, at last, released a statement regarding the recent arrest of their guitarist, Pat O’Brien. O’Brien, you are likely aware, was charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling with assault and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. Authorities were reportedly called to O’Brien’s home in Northdale, FL when it “caught fire with exploding ammunition inside,” later revealed to be from military-grade flamethrowers and more than eighty firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition. While firefighters struggled to put out the fire despite the exploding ammunition, O’Brien was nearby, allegedly robbing a neighbor. When the police found him hiding near a fence outside that neighbor’s home, he reportedly charged them with a knife, and had to be put down with a taser.
The statement uses language which implies both that O’Brien may be struggling with mental illness or substance abuse (“Pat is getting the help he needs”) and that he may be taking a temporary leave from the band (“Pat… looks forward to a healthy return at some point”); it also reassures fans that the band will keep their upcoming touring commitments (Cannibal Corpse were recently announced as headliners of the 2019 Decibel Magazine tour and as an opening act for the 2019 North American leg of Slayer’s farewell tour) without specifically saying whether or not O’Brien will be on hand and, if he won’t, who will fill in for him.
That statement reads as follows:
“As a band and as individuals, we all want nothing but the best for our brother and partner, Pat. While we can offer no further information about the incident, we wanted everyone to know that Pat is getting the help he needs and appreciates the love and support from Cannibal Corpse fans around the world.
“Pat is currently with family and friends and looks forward to a healthy return at some point. For anyone wondering, all Cannibal Corpse touring will happen as planned and all shows will be played.”
O’Brien is currently free on $50,000 bond, which was said to be conditional upon passing a drug test — although, again, the above statement suggests that O’Brien may have substance abuse issues.
Deana Mazurkiewicz, wife of drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, is overseeing a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds on O’Brien’s behalf. In an accompanying statement, Ms. Mazurkiewicz urged fans “not jump to conclusions [regarding the circumstances of his arrest] until the full details of what occurred come out.” The campaign has raised over $20,000 so far of its stated $60,000 goal.