Former Anthrax vocalist Dan Nelson, who fronted the band for a brief stint between 2007 and 2009 but never released any music with them, has been arrested for assaulting two eldery men in Queens, according to the Daily News .
The incident took place at the Aloft Hotel near LaGuardia Airport at about 11:30pm on August 30 after Nelson played a gig in the hotel’s performance space with his band (which band isn’t clear).
James Paolino, 74, one of the alleged victims, was there to see his friend fill-in with Nelson’s band in place of their regular drummer, and allegedly criticized Nelson for performing while too drunk. “You had a rough night,” Paolino said he told the singer in an elevator after the gig.
“He’s whacked. He can’t even tune his guitar. He had been drinking non-stop,” Paolino later told the Daily News . “He started kicking me and punching me in the head. These were real MMA (mixed martial arts) kicks. He knocked me down. I’m on the floor bleeding. He broke my glasses and I knew the next kicks were coming for my head. I’m helpless.”
The other man, Philip Falcone, 73, tried to cool Nelson down, but that only served to enrage him further. “I’m still shaking. It was very traumatizing. He knocked my hearing aids out. This guy is an animal,” Falcone told the News .
He just goes bananas,” one witness recollected, saying he stepped in and punched Nelson before the elevator opened to a crowd.
Nelson turned himself in at the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights, Queens, yesterday morning (September 11), according to Consequence of Sound . He was charged with assault, assault with intent to cause physical injury, and harassment.
At an arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday night, September 12, Nelson was released and ordered to return to court October 11. His lawyer for the civil suit brought by the victims, Marc Isaac, said his client denies the allegations: “I’ve seen the video, and what they’re saying is not correct. I can tell you that there was no bloody altercation. That’s completely false.” His criminal defense lawyer, Michael Arbeit, declined to comment.
Nelson sued Anthrax in 2011 for $2.65 million for defamation of character and royalties he claims he was owed for his writing contributions to Worship Music , released that year. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.