KREATOR frontman Mille Petrozza has commented on CANNIBAL CORPSE guitarist Patrick "Pat" O'Brien's recent arrest, saying that Pat is "the sweetest guy ever" who "needs help."
O'Brien, who has been a member of CANNIBAL CORPSE for more than two decades, was arrested on December 10 for burglary and assaulting a police officer while his Florida home was in flames.
Fire marshals found a large cache of weapon, locked safes and potential explosive devices inside O'Brien's home, including 50 shotguns, 20 semiautomatic rifles, two Uzi-style firearms, 20 handguns and two flamethrowers. Authorities also discovered thousands of rounds as well as additional weapons.
During an appearance on the latest episode of "The Jasta Show", the podcast hosted by HATEBREED's Jamey Jasta, Petrozza expressed his shock over O'Brien's arrest, saying: "I've always known that Pat was a little bit obsessed with guns. He told me that, but that's his… whatever he's happy with. But I hope he doesn't have any major problems.
"I don't know what's going on," he continued. "I know that he likes to drink and he gets in trouble when he's drinking. I hope that's probably it. But I hope there's no other substances involved."
Petrozza went on to say that he hopes CANNIBAL CORPSE will still be able to take part in the next North American leg of SLAYER's farewell tour, which was announced earlier in the month. "And I hope Pat's gonna be okay, because we're friends," he said.
Mille decried what he described as our culture's desire to see celebrities or public figures fail, and insisted that O'Brien deserves a chance to redeem himself.
"As soon as something like this happens, people online, they go, 'Ha! Look at this guy!' People wanna see you slip, they wanna see you fall," he said. "And even though they love your music, [they still go], 'Ha! Look at this guy!' And I'm, like, 'Fuck you.' The guy has a problem. Have a little respect. And let's hope he's gonna get better. Because he's one of the greatest death metal guitar players, if not one of the best metal guitar players in the world. So, let's just hope for the best.
"He needs help," Mille noted. "Whatever he did… I mean, this whole fucking thing doesn't make sense. How would somebody break into somebody's house while his own house is on fire, which is, like, two blocks away or something? So this whole thing doesn't make sense. It just shows you that it's some crazy thing. He was just 'out there.' It's nothing that he could control. It's not like that he wanted to do some bad stuff. So I hope that the Florida justice system sees that and gives him a chance to recover and get off whatever he's on."
Describing O'Brien as "a great, great guy," Petrozza admitted that he was "really surprised" when he heard about the guitarist's arrest. "Like I said, I knew that he was sometimes a little strange, but not like that," Mille said. "All of us, we're all strange. Pat was just… he was the sweetest guy ever."
O'Brien was released from Hillsborough County jail on December 14 after posting a $50,000 surety bond.
At a first appearance hearing on December 11, a Hillsborough County judge told the 53-year-old musician, clad in an anti-suicide vest with his hands and ankles chained together, that he would first have to pass a drug test before he would be allowed to post bail and leave jail.
Last week, CANNIBAL CORPSE issued a statement saying that "Pat is getting the help he needs" and confirming that all of the band's previously announced shows in 2019 will go ahead as scheduled.