Phil Rudd, the drummer of AC/DC, is back in court. This time it is not over the alleged murder for hire charge, but for a fracas with one of his own bodyguards. The altercation reportedly took place on Thursday at 10:20am.
According to witness, Leo Rojas, the drummer was arguing with an unidentified man. Rojas owns Tauranga’s Columbus Coffee, and says that Rudd was following the bigger guy and attempted to punch him. The other man was just trying to walk away, and said something about not wanting to break the musician’s face. Eventually, the unidentified man turned and pushed Rudd away, causing him to fall away easily.
That was when the AC/DC drummer’s bodyguard stepped in. He tried to pull Rudd back to separate the two. However, the musician attempted to attack his own bodyguard to get out of the hold. Rojas says that he found the end of the altercation “funny.” While that happened, the unidentified man left the scene, before police arrived to find out the full story.
The police have declined to comment on the altercation. According to a spokeswoman, the police will not comment on a case before it reaches the court. She stated that all questions would need to be directed to his lawyer, but did confirm that he had been arrested.
It seems that the drummer has been released. He returned to the cafe to pick up his belongings that had been dropped, including his cell phone and wallet, and then told people to avoid getting “involved with the mafia.”
Rudd is back in court, after just a month of being there for other charges. In November, he was accused of attempting to procure murder. The charge was later dropped after he had entered a not guilty plea. However, he was also charged with possessing methamphetamine and cannabis. The second two charges had not been dropped at the time of the murder for hire charge.
The 60-year-old was released on bail later on Thursday, which allowed him to return to collect his belongings. One of the conditions on his bail is to stop taking any illicit drugs. Unfortunately, Rudd also broke his bail conditions by having contact with the witness. Lawyer Craig Tuck says that the musician acknowledges that, and it has led to the tightened bail conditions, including the ban on taking any illegal drugs. Greg Hollister-Jones, crown solicitor, asked for the incident to be noted on the court records, which Judge Geoghegan agreed to.
The date February 10 was set for a review hearing on the case. Rudd offered no intelligible responses when questioned, but Tuck shared that it was a change meeting that led to contact. There seems to be more to this confrontation that is confirmed, but that will have to wait until the court case.
The rest of the AC/DC members have not commented on the incident. In November, they had no idea about the murder for hire charges, but confirmed that the court appearance would not affect their plans for the band. It is unlikely that Rudd being back in court will affect any plans.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Matt Becker