William L. Hotopp, the attorney for ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante, has released the following statement:
"Last Friday night [July 27], Charlie Benante, drummer for the rock band ANTHRAX, was assaulted several times during an altercation that sent him to the emergency room with a gash at the back of his head that required several staples to close.
"Mr. Benante and his six-year-old daughter, Mia, had traveled to Elkart, Indiana to meet Mrs. Benante and her 17-year-old son, who was participating in a weekend baseball series. At some point, words were exchanged between Mr. Benante, Mrs. Benante and her male companion that led to a scuffle. Mrs. Benante hit Mr. Benante in the face, he pushed her away, and as he turned around to leave with Mia, Mrs. Benante assaulted him from behind, hitting him multiple times on the back of his head with a cell phone. Police were called, and both Mr. Benante and Mrs. Benante were detained for domestic battery in front of a child. Mr. Benante is understandably distraught by this incident and that his daughter, who he dotes on, witnessed it.
"Mr. Benante will appear in Elkhart County court this Friday, August 3, and we expect complete vindication."
Benante, 49, and his wife Sandra, 41, had Mia Charley Benante in January 2006. They currently reside in Long Grove, Illinois.
Charlie and ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello (who is Benante's nephew) missed several shows on ANTHRAX's North American tour in February in order to spend time with Charlie's mother, who was terminally ill. On February 4, Benante informed fans via his official web site that his mother passed away.
More recently, Benante was forced to miss a number of shows on this summer's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival while he was recovering from a minor hand injury. Filling in for him is SHADOWS FALL drummer Jason Bittner.
In February 2011, Charlie took his then-five-year-old daughter to a Lady Gaga concert at the United Center in Charlie's hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Benante said afterwards, "Gaga gave ANTHRAX a big shout-out tonight. She treated my daughter like a little queen and proved again that she is a metalhead at heart!"
Booking photos courtesy of Elkhart County Sheriff's Department