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1991.08.08 - The St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Axl Rose Charged In Riot

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1991.08.08 - The St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Axl Rose Charged In Riot

Post by Blackstar on Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:20 pm

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Axl Rose Charged In Riot

Musician Accused Of Misdemeanor Property Damage, Assault In Clash At Riverport Concert; Arrest Sought

By Kim Bell
Of the Post-Dispatch Staff


Heavy metal musician Axl Rose, whose leap into a rock concert crowd sparked a riot here last month, now faces misdemeanor charges of assault and property damage.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch filed five misdemeanor charges against Rose on Wednesday, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Rose, lead singer of the group Guns Ν' Roses, allegedly hit a security guard and hurt three concertgoers at a concert July 2 at the Riverport Amphitheatre.

The three concertgoers were Bill Stephenson, 26, Tammy Beckemeyer, 22, and Diane Bailey, 26, all of St. Louis.

He also smashed a mirror in the dressing room and damaged a wall, Maryland Heights police say. Police said about $280 was spent to replace the mirror.

If convicted, Rose, 29, faces up to a year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine for each of the four assault charges. For second-degree property damage, the maximum penalty is six months in the county jail and a $500 fine.

McCulloch said none of the Injuries — “primarily bumps and bruises” — was serious enough to warrant felony assault charges.

After Rose jumped in the crowd, he and his band left the amphitheatre. Then, about 3,000 of the 15,000 concertgoers rioted, hurling chairs, destroying equipment, uprooting trees and setting grass on fire. About 65 people, including 25 police officers, were injured in the melee.

Rose isn’t charged with rioting because Rose "was long gone” when the riot broke out, McCulloch said. While police believe that Rose "lit the fuse” that sparked the riot, charges of inciting a riot are not part of Missouri law, McCulloch said.

Those who took part in the riot might be charged with assault and property damage later, McCulloch said. To charge someone with rioting, prosecutors would have to prove that six or more people had an agreement to riot.

The trouble at the concert began about 11 p.m., when Rose apparently became irked that Stephenson, who was standing in the second row of seats, was snapping photographs of him.

In an interview Wednesday, Stephenson said Rose starting yelling at security to grab the camera. But before security could respond. Rose “threw off his hat and dove at me,” said Stephenson, 26, of St. Louis.
"It happened so fast,” Stephenson said. "We went down into the chairs. I was struggling to get loose from him. He had a hold of my hair and my vest... he was repeatedly hitting me."

Rose apparently bumped Beckemeyer and Bailey when lie jumped after Stephenson, police said. Rose also is charged with hitting a security guard, Bruce Olsen, in the head. Olsen, 29, lives in Fenton.

Although a warrant has been issued for Rose's arrest, McCulloch said an attorney may enter his appearance for Rose. Then a judge here would decide if Rose has to come back to Missouri for a court date.

Guns N’ Roses is scheduled to leave Saturday for a concert tour in Europe. Rose’s lawyer in Los Angeles declined to comment, and the band's publicist, Bryn Bridenthal, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
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Caption: Stephenson, who angered Axl Rose by taking pictures at Axl Rose’s concert at Riverport Amphitheatre, showing one of the photos Wednesday.
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