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The Harley Flanagan Case

Cro-Mags founder involved in violence with former band mates


The Harley Flanagan Case

Founding Cro-Mags member Harley Flanagan

Cro-Mags Recordings
Cro-Mags founding member Harley Flanagan was involved in an incident before a Cro-Mags show at Webster Hall in New York on Friday, July 6, 2012, where two members of the band suffered knife wounds, and Flanagan sustained one as well (that was originally reported as a broken leg).

Although original events portrayed Flanagan as the instigator, Flanagan's version of the events are that he acted in self defense after being jumped. In fear of his life, he fought back after being attacked by multiple assailants in the band's dressing room.

A father and a martial arts instructor, Flanagan has stated that he had no intent of instigating violence, not wanting to throw away the life that he has built. Meanwhile, current Cro-Mags frontman and band co-founder John “Bloodclot” Joseph is talking down Flanagan's version of the events, telling the New York Post “He shouldn’t have been at that show. He showed up at the show with a knife. It shows intent."

It culminates decades of bad blood and feuding between the two. In a history reminiscent of America's most notorious hip hop feuds, both men have drifted in and out of the band for years, sometimes manning two different versions of the band, with allegations of theft over the years, with the most recent breakup seeing the pair going their separate ways in 200.

Flanagan has also told a reporter for The Local that it was DMS who were behind his attack in the dressing room.

Who is DMS?

Originally called the Doc Marten Skinheads, with later incarnations of the initials being known as Demonstrating My Style, Drugs Money Sex and Dirty Money Syndicate, DMS is a gang that grew out of the '80s hardcore scene in New York. Although the term "skinhead" has caused speculation that it had white supremacist affiliations, it actually claims many black, Asian and Hispanic members as well. Similar to FSU in Boston, the gang claimed allegiance to many hardcore and crossover thrash bands over the years, and have a history of violence.

In 1990, three members of DMS were charged in the stabbing death of Julio Rivera, a 29-year-old gay bartender.

A Timeline Of The Events:

Cro-Mags Concert Canceled After Founding Member Harley Flanagan Allegedly Stabs Current Band Members - On Friday July 6, A Cro-Mags concert at Webster Hall was cancelled after two members of the band (Michael Couls and William Berario) suffered knife wounds. Initial reports said that former and founding Cro-Mags member Harley Flanagan had forced his way into the VIP area where the band was preparing to take the stage and, with a hunting knife, had slashed and bit the the two members, sustaining a broken leg in the fight.

Flanagan's Injury Is Revealed To Be A Laceration - Sources close to Flanagan revealed that it was put on record at Flanagan's arraignment that it was not a broken leg that he sustained at Webster Haal. It was a laceration - most likely a knife wound - that required 38 stitches to close. Flanagan also reported that he was acting in self defense. This called into question the events as originally reported, most notably that of Flanagan as the instigator and the presence of more than one knife.

Harley Flanagan - "I wanted to save my life..." - In a statement to New York Natives, Flanagan gave his version of the events as they took place, saying he acted in self defense. According to Flanagan, he entered the dressing room at Webster Hall as a guest, seeking to make amends with his former band, where he was jumped. He states that it wasn't until bouncers forced their way into the dressing room that the violence spilled out onto the balcony, where the reported events took place.

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