Cops Probe Fight Between Green Day And Third Eye Blind Bassists

Irvine, Calif., police and Green Day management want to know who fractured Mike Dirnt's head.

Green Day management and Irvine, Calif., police are actively investigating

a backstage fight between Green Day's Mike Dirnt and Third Eye Blind's

Arion Salazar that left Dirnt with a fractured skull.

Dirnt, the 26-year-old bassist from the multi-platinum-selling punk-pop

trio, suffered the head injury and was hospitalized after being struck over

the head with a beer bottle during L.A. radio station KROQ's annual Weenie

Roast at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre on Saturday, according to Green Day publicist Amanda Cagan.

While Third Eye Blind's management acknowledges that Salazar was involved in

a scuffle with Dirnt, they deny fan reports that he caused the injury.

Explaining that the matter is currently being investigated, Cagan said the

primary concern at this time is finding the culprit who struck Dirnt,

a.k.a. Mike Pritchard. "All we want to know is who hit Mike," she said,

adding that Green Day recently postponed the opening of their Canadian tour

due to what she said were scheduling conflicts. "There has been no legal

action taken at this point. It's still under investigation."

Meanwhile, Irvine Police investigator Lori Teves confirmed that the police

have begun looking into the incident after receiving a complaint from the

hospital where Dirnt was taken following his injury. "We haven't identified

anyone by name, but the case is still under investigation," Teves said.

The fight between Salazar and Dirnt began after Green Day's set as part of

the Weenie Roast, said Russell Bloom of Eric Godtland Management, the

company that represents hit-making pop-rockers Third Eye Blind. When

Salazar ran onstage and bear-hugged Dirnt, the Green Day bassist was

apparently surprised by Salazar. Dirnt allegedly kicked and hit Salazar,

leading to an altercation during the show and backstage afterward.

Although he acknowledged in a press release Monday that there had been a

fight between Dirnt and Salazar, Godtland spokesman Bloom maintained in the

same release that an overzealous fan, rather than Salazar, rushed up and

struck Dirnt over the head.

When contacted on Thursday, Bloom said that there were no developments in

the case and would not comment further.

Curtis L. Garrett, general manager of Staff Pro, the contracted security

company for events at Irvine Meadows, worked Saturday's event. He said he

was walking Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong and drummer Tre Cool

backstage when he saw a crowd of people running toward the VIP tent

adjacent to Green Day's trailer.

"All three bandmembers were yelling at someone else, and I was pushing

[Green Day] away," Garrett said. "I called for the rest of staff to

come backstage to help me out. Dirnt was standing on top of a table ...

with blood running down the back of his neck, yelling, 'Some fucker hit me

with a bottle.' "

The injury appeared to be to the back right of Dirnt's head, Garrett said,

adding that he escorted the injured bassist to an emergency medical

services tent to receive first aid.

Dirnt has been resting at home this week in Berkeley, Calif., with the rest

of the

band, according to Cagan. In the meantime, the start of the

Canadian leg of Green Day's current tour was postponed from Wednesday to

this Saturday, due to prior scheduling conflicts, she added.

Cagan denied that Dirnt's injury had anything to do with the cancellations,

adding that the tour will still begin in St. John's, Newfoundland, at Bow

Ring Park.

In the statement released Monday by Godtland, Salazar said,

"I am sorry that my attempt at doing something I thought would be funny

escalated into Mike getting hurt. That was never my intention. I simply had

too much to drink and made a very bad decision.

"If I had been in Mike's place, I'm sure I would have acted similarly,"

Salazar added. "My heart goes out to him, and I hope he recovers quickly.

We have many friends in common, and I just hope that he can accept my

sincerest apology. I am sorry, Mike."

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