Police said Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst could face misdemeanor assault charges in connection with an onstage incident Monday night in St. Paul, Minn., in which the singer is alleged to have kicked a venue security guard in the head.
"We declined the felony assault charges, because there was insufficient evidence," Jack Rhodes, chief of staff of the Ramsey County attorney's office, said Wednesday (July 14), of the more serious charges police had considered filing against Durst.
The 29-year-old singer and recently appointed senior vice president of Interscope Records was released on $50,000 bail Tuesday morning.
The thrash-rap group's sophomore album, Significant Other, will hold the top spot on the Billboard 200 albums charts for a third straight week, when chart information is released Thursday (July 15). Despite the arrest, Durst and the band performed a concert at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago as scheduled Tuesday night, according to a venue manager, who would not give his name.
Limp Bizkit's label, Interscope, had no comment on the alleged onstage fracas. Durst was unavailable for comment.
The assistant city attorney for St. Paul said his office has not yet decided whether Durst will be charged with misdemeanor assault, disorderly conduct or both. "It's one of the more pressing things on my list," Mike Seasly said. "But I don't have any information yet and I'm waiting for another report." Seasly said the determination of what, if any, penalty Durst will face should be forthcoming.
The Monday night performance at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul was not canceled, despite the alleged attack, during which police said Durst assaulted 29-year-old local security guard Pat Estes.
"The victim said he was trying to remove one of the concert-goers when an unidentified person started fighting with him," Michael Jordan, public information officer for the St. Paul Police Department, said. Durst, a former tattoo artist, was arrested after leaving the stage at 11 p.m. Monday and released around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday after posting bail, Jordan said.
The incident allegedly occurred when Durst's security guard, Richard Allen Surrency, was trying to remove a concert-goer from the stage, Jordan said. Estes apparently mistook Surrency for another fan and tried to remove them both, Jordan explained.
The owner of Asia Security, Estes' employer, said Wednesday he didn't want to discuss the incident. "There's been too many stories already," Tom Azzone said.
A spokesperson for the venue was equally unwilling to revisit the alleged kicking. "All I heard was 'he saidhe said'," Roy Wilkins Auditorium's Barb Chandler said. "We interviewed everyone on staff, and nobody saw it. It was like a baseball game: If you miss the swing of the bat, that's it."
"I kicked that punk a-- security guard in the head," Durst said from the stage following the incident, according to police. "That f---ing b----, you ain't gonna get a check tonight."
After a few more songs, Durst asked about Estes' whereabouts, Jordan said. "Where's that f---ing security guard?" Durst said, according to police. "Where is that f---ing p---y b----?"
Estes was taken to a hospital for observation. His injuries weren't thought to be serious, Jordan said. The security guard was treated and released Monday and again on Tuesday, according to Bronwyn Pope, a spokesperson for United Hospital. The St. PaulMinneapolis Star-Tribue reported Wednesday that Estes had returned to the hospital after he was first discharged, when he experienced blurred vision and equilibrium problems. Pope said she could not confirm those reports due to confidentiality rules.
Significant Other, a mixture of hard rock, hip-hop beats, rapping and heavy-metal guitars, features the hit single "Nookie" (RealAudio excerpt) and has sold more than 1.2 million copies in three weeks of release, according to SoundScan.
(Staff Writer Chris Nelson contributed to this report.)