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Veteran Punk Rocker Arrested in Violent Attack at Hardcore Show

By Jess Wisloski | July 7, 2012 2:01pm | Updated on July 9, 2012 1:15am

MANHATTAN — A founding member of a band that was set to perform Friday night as part of a revival effort for the late punk club CBGB's was arrested and charged in a violent attack by knife and teeth in the East Village.

Harley Flanagan, 45, a founder and ex-bassist of influential hardcore band the Cro-Mags, was charged assault four counts total of second-degree assault for attacking two men, both current members of the band according to music websites, at a show at Webster Hall that was part of the CBGB Festival, police said.

At 8:13 p.m., police responded to a call from the East 11th Street venue where the Cro-Mags and Sick Of It All were set to perform, according to police and the festival's website.

Flanagan had entered the backstage area and slashed one man, 33, in the torso, according to police, and when a second man, 35, tried to put a stop to the assault, Flanagan allegedly turned on him and bit him in the face, before slashing him above the left eye.

Then Flanagan went back to attacking the first victim, stabbing him in the back of the arm, police said.

The two victims were at Bellevue Hospital Center in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Flanagan reportedly snuck into the VIP area, and started the attack against Michael Couls, the band's current bassist, 33, when William Berario, another band member, tried to step in, according to police and the criminal complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney's office on Saturday night.

He was being held Saturday night on $25,000 bail, according to the NY Post. Nobody answered the door Sunday at Flanagan's Queens home address that was provided by police.

Authorities shut down Webster Hall immediately after the stabbing, canceling the rest of the show, Bowery Boogie reported. The site also had a photo of a man identified as Flanagan being taken away in handcuffs. 

The CBGB Festival, which runs through July 8, is part of an effort to re-launch the legendary Bowery rock venue, which shuttered in 2006.