STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki was assaulted in the center of Granada, Spain on Sunday (Feb. 29) as he was taking a walk, Finland's Sonera Plaza is reporting. According to STRATOVARIUS keyboardist Jens Johansson, who witnessed the attack, the alleged attacker was extremely agitated and had "a Hispanic looking appearance". During the assault, the attacker shouted "Tolkki." He was armed with what seemed to be a box cutter.
Tolkki was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was admitted to emergency care. He had two stab wounds on his left arm and a facial contusion. His wounds were cleaned and bandaged and he was released from hospital care.
Anybody with any information about the attacker is being asked to contact the police.
Tolkki commented that he is "shocked and horrified" by what happened. "Apparently this guy had been stalking me. The bastard attacked me from behind," Tolkki said. "I can take anything, but that was such a cowardly act, you know. He got me with the knife twice and punched me in the face. Then he ran away. The whole thing lasted just seconds. Now I am thinking that this might be the end of my career. I do not want to end up like John Lennon. I don't know if I want to continue STRATOVARIUS anymore".
When asked if he thinks that the attack has something to do with the resent changes in STRATOVARIUS lineup and the death threats he has received, Tolkki commented: "Of course I feel there is a connection to that. Why would anybody attack me like that otherwise? What possible other motive this guy could have had than that? I think he tried to kill me, but this time I was lucky".
STRATOVARIUS performed on Saturday night as a headliner of Piorno Rock Festival in Granada, Spain.
Two photos of Timo Tolkki taken on Sunday after he was treated for his wounds can be viewed here.