The Shocking Arrest of Rush’s Alex Lifeson
Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories they take a look at the new years eve arrest of Alex Lifeson at the Ritz Carlton in Florida. Check out the story below!
Rush was a band that’s definitely known more for their musical chops than their behavior off stage. In fact they seem like they have a pretty clean cut image. That was until 2003 when guitarist Alex Lifeson was tasered and beaten by security in a Florida Hotel. Let’s talk about what happened in today’s video. It gives new meaning to dinner at the ritz.
Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and his family were attending a new years eve party to ring in 2004 at a Naples, Florida Ritz Carlton hotel. It was an expensive event a black tie affair costing each couple $650.00. Hired to perform at the hotel that night, was 71 year old Freddy Cole, the younger brother of the late, legendary singer Nat King Cole. ..At one point during the party Justin, who was the 33 year old son of Lifeson who was allegedly intoxicated jumped on stage and tried to interrupt the performance. Cole would recall to the Naples Daily News “He said something like, ‘How about a nice round of applause for this Count Basie.’ I wouldn’t even look up. He knew damn well my name ain’t Count Basie.” Cole for his part had never heard of the band Rush or Lifeson and told the newspaper when he first heard about the name Rush he would say “”I thought they were talking about Rush Limbaugh,”
It wasn’t just Cole who wasn’t impressed with the families behavior as he told the newspaper “I know when they came up and started dancing all over the dance floor, several people left. … They were doing some gyrations, I guess having a good time” he’d say.
The hotel’s night shift manager would radio the front-desk asking them to call the sheriff’s office to report the disorderly guests. When the police arrived, they took Lifeson’s son out of the ballroom into the hallway and the guitarist soon followed. When Justin started to resist arrest, he was tackled to the ground and tasered and Lifeson would who felt like the police were overreacting intervened and was punched in the face by one of the deputies who broke his nose. Lifeson and his son would be arrested and taken down to the local police station.
The police for their part alleged that te guitarist spit in the face of a deputy and kicked one officer down a stairwell. Lifeson’s party would claim that the Ritz staff exaggerated the behavior of his family to the police who in turn used excessive force. The family claimed the hotel staff told the police over the phone that the Lifeson family was and i quote “just basically trashing the place … jumping on furniture, ripping things apart.” The next day the guitarist would show up to talk to the press wearing his clothes from the previous night which were covered in blood. His mugshot would also get released to the press. He would tell the media following his arrest “”They didn’t like the way we were dancing, apparently,”
Initially the guitarist was facing four felony charges including assault on a law enforcement officeThe charges against Alex and his son Justin would be dropped from felnoies to misdemeanors and Alex would serve 12 months of probation and pay court costs instead of facing trial and possibly going to jail.
We all know Rush fans are pretty loyal and this instance was no different. Following the news of the guitarist’s arrest, the Collier County Sheriff’s office was in dated with emails and phone calls from fans of the band. Fans were angry about how Lifeson was treated. It got so bad that the sheriff’s office had to release a statement on the matter revealing that the hotel fell out of their jurisdiction and that the emails some of which were violent and threatening, were no fun to read. Even the local newspaper, the Daily News came under fire from Rush fans for printing Lifeson’s home address in their story of the arrest. The newspaper would claim they treat everyone equally rich or poor.
Several years later after the incident Lifeson’s family filed a lawsuit against the police for excessive force and the hotel for negligence. The court would rule in the deputies favor, but the judge also ruled that the hotel should not have not exaggerated the actions of the Lifeson family to the police dispatcher ruling that the hotel staff’s lies and i quote “knowingly put Justin at a greater risk of physical injury.That does it for today’s video guys thanks for watching. Be sure to hit the like button and subscribe and we’ll see you later. Take care.