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Hardcore Punk Band Front Man Bites Band Member During CBGB Festival Show At Webster Hall

If you're not a fan of hardcore punk, you probably haven't heard of Harley Flanagan, founding and now-ex member of the band, the Cro-Mags, and some say founding father of the NY hardcore punk scene.

His songs may have biting lyrics, but biting people is another thing. That's exactly what the NYPD says the 45-year-old former front man did minutes before a show Friday night inside Webster Hall. They say around 8 p.m. Flanagan allegedly attacked two current band-members with a knife inside the VIP area, slashing both, then biting one in the face.

The 11th Street club canceled the multi-band show, which was supposed to also include the band "Sick of It All." That phrase could sum up both the crowd -- who didn't get to see the show, and the people who were trying to entertain patrons.

We uncovered a YouTube video from Friday night, where the crowd can be seen milling around after hearing the show was canceled, and a club spokesman warned club-goers that police we're outside:"Hopefully, we're not gonna make this worse than it is, the 5-0 is outside, they arrest people for a living, so you'd be smart not to give them the opportunity to do so."

The show was part of the CBGB music festival.We spoke to the organizers, who issued a statement that reads in part, "We are saddened to learn about the events that occurred last night (Friday) at Webster Hall. Our primary concern is always the safety and experience of New Yorkers, music fans and the general public. Naturally, we will fully cooperate with law enforcement while hoping for the speedy recovery of those injured."

PIX11 was in attendance Saturday at the festival's free shows in Times Square, and spoke to Matt Pinfield -- radio DJ, TV Host, and walking rock-and-roll encyclopedia -- who was introducing the bands: "I was sad to hear about it, because I like Harley and all the people involved. I've known these guys for years from the New York music scene, so what I really think it came down to was ex-members, new members, and some beef between band members."

Lots of people we talked to didn't know about the fight, and -- in general -- didn't care. Flanagan suffered a broken leg, and is facing assault and weapons charges. It's said that as he was led out in cuffs, he managed to flip the finger. That's quite a different scene from Saturday in Times Square, where everyone seemed to be getting along.

Pinfield agrees, "Generally, it's been a really celebratory festival here, it's been great."

Edited By Michelle Robinson

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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