‘I am no threat to you’: Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen details Florida attack

Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen  wearing a vest over a T-shirt and jeans, poses for a portrait
Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen shared details of his recent attack in Fort Lauderdatle, Fla.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

Two months after being attacked in Florida, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen opened up about the incident that had him drawing parallels to the traumatic 1980s car accident that severed his left arm when he was 21.

The British rocker, known as the Thunder God, detailed the alleged assault Monday on “Good Morning America” saying he was “totally blindsided.”

“I heard a couple of steps and then I just saw this dark sort of flash and the next thing I knew was I was on the ground,” the 59-year-old recalled. “I landed on my backside and then continued on — hit my head on the pavement.”


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The “Pour Some Sugar on Me” musician said he feared being attacked when the alleged assailant — identified as 19-year-old Ohio resident Max Edward Hartley — first approached him. Allen said he reached his hand up and told him, “I am no threat to you.”

“I don’t think he knew who I was, but he must have seen that I wasn’t a threat because, you know, I’ve only got one arm,” Allen said.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was staying in the Fort Lauderdale area to perform at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood in March during the Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe world tour, which began in February and will conclude in August. According to a Fort Lauderdale police report reviewed by The Times, Hartley was hiding behind a pillar before he ran full speed toward Allen. Police said Allen was standing near the valet area of the Four Seasons Hotel smoking a cigarette when he suffered the blow. He was knocked to the ground, and his head hit the concrete, “causing injury.”

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Hartley also allegedly attacked a woman who tried to help the musician. He was charged with two counts of battery, four counts of criminal mischief and a count of abusing an elderly or disabled adult. He has pleaded not guilty.

Meanwhile, Allen said on “GMA” that he was mentally better prepared for this incident than he was for the 1984 car accident. That’s partly due to the fact that he and his wife Lauren Monroe, who sat for the interview with him, started the Raven Drum Foundation in 2001 to help trauma survivors, focusing on physical and mental health.


“I immediately just went to that place of just feeling grateful for the fact that I have an amazing wife and an incredible family. I just started thanking a higher power for the fact that I’m still here,” he said.

In a March Instagram post, Allen asked his 89,000 followers to “move from confusion and shock to compassion and empathy.”

“We understand this act of violence can be triggering for so many people. 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,” he wrote. Last month he added that he’s “still recovering and getting my mind and body ready for the upcoming Def Leppard tour.”

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Def Leppard has returned to the stage to play a small show in their hometown of Sheffield, England — also near the site of Allen’s car accident — and he hopes to show his resilience to fans.

“I know that I’m not going to be playing music in a band forever,” he said on “GMA.” “But while I am, I plan on making as many people happy as I possibly can. And this is my time. This is my opportunity ... We’re only here for a limited time.”

Times staff writers Emily St. Martin and Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.