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Harley Flanagan Says He Acted In Self-Defense Against CRO-MAGS Members Last Week

The craziest story to come out of the relatively tame (in comparison, at least) CBGB Festival, was the altercation at Webster Hall last Friday night, July 6th, where founding Cro-Mags bassist Harley Flanigan crashed the party uninvited, made his way to the backstage area, and stabbed and bit two current members until six security guards had to get him down, breaking his leg in process. Flanigan is currently locked up, on charges of assault and criminal possession of a weapon with a trial pending.

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Today, Harley, and his lawyers gave the first public comment to and he stated that he acted in complete self-defense:

Cro-Mags founder, Harley Flanagan himself and his attorney have told exclusively in a statement that everything that happened on July 6th at the CBGB's Festival Cro-Mags show at Webster Hall happened in "self defense." Harley was not the aggressor and any and all of his actions were in self defense.

If you've read anything about the altercation, this totally conflicts with reports coming out of the show, like this one from the New York Times:

The crowd was waiting for the Cro-Mags on Friday night when Mr. Flanagan darted from the dressing room while yelling something that onlookers could not make out, according to a spectator, Elie Perler.

At almost the same time, Mr. Perler, the co-creator of the Bowery Boogie blog, said security guards yelled, “Get his hands,” and “He has a knife,” as they converged on him. “It took all of those huge guys; he was squirming and flailing,” he said.

A more specific telling of the tale from The Daily News:

He first lunged at one of the men and slashed him twice in the side, the sources said. As the second victim tried to break up the fight, Flanagan bit him and slashed him near his right eye.

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Flanagan then turned back to the first victim and cut him again in the right arm and bit him in the left forearm. Both men were taken to a hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Flanagan, who played bass with the band, was charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, cops said. A 4- to 5-inch knife was recovered at the scene.

Needless to say, the self-defense theory is the only possible way Flanagan can hope to get out, even thought there is seemingly insurmountable evidence and eyewitnesses to prove he is guilty of this crime.

His donation page has been up for a few days and the dial has barely moved up. This is not a good time to be Harley Flanagan.

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