Alex Lifeson of Rush Arrested in New Year's Eve Fracas

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Friday, January 2, 2004 @ 1:41 AM

Lifeson allegedly scuffles wit

- advertisement -
- advertisement -
By JOHN HENDERSON, Naples Daily News:

The lead guitarist for a renowned rock band faces criminal charges after a scuffle with Collier County sheriff's deputies at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, on New Year's Eve.

Alex Zivojinovich, a founding member of Rush, known on stage as Alex Lifeson, was arrested after what deputies describe as a drunken, violent outbreak at the posh hotel.

Zivojinovich, 50, faces six charges that include aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, and disorderly intoxication. Also arrested in the brouhaha were his 33-year-old son Justin Zivojinovich and his wife, Michelle, 30.

Deputies say they had to use a stun gun on Alex Zivojinovich, 8787 Bay Colony Drive, Apt. 804 in Naples, and his son during the fracas. And in their reports they accuse Alex Zivojinovich of pushing a female deputy down a hotel stairwell during the struggle, and of spitting blood on a deputy's face.

But his son Justin, who was visiting his father on vacation from Canada, gave a very different account of what happened during an interview Thursday night.

He said his father, who was still in the Collier County jail as of late Thursday, had his nose broken by deputies, and as he was spitting out the blood from the injuries, deputies assaulted him again. He also said his father did not push the female deputy down the stairs as stated in arrest reports.

Instead, Justin Zivojinovich said, the deputy tumbled down the stairs as she pushed him down the stairwell.

He said the trouble began after he got up on the stage where the house band was performing at the hotel.

"I was singing Happy New Year's, that's all I was doing, singing to the whole crowd. That's all I said, 'Happy New Year,'" Justin Zivojinovich said. "Everyone was enjoying themselves. That's when someone apparently started yelling for one of the security guards. There was no violence on our part.

"I was ready to leave. I was asked to leave, and I said, 'OK, I'm going to go. I'll grab my wife and be out of there.' They didn't want that. They didn't want me to leave on a high note. They felt they would lose. They decided to aggravate me. They stunned me, as well as my father, with a stun gun."

Justin Zivojinovich said they have hired Naples defense lawyer Jerry Berry to represent them. Rush has scheduled a global 30th anniversary tour in 2004, and Justin said he did not know whether this arrest might affect those plans.

"If we don't get off of these charges, we're going to start seeking lawsuits against a lot of people," Justin Zivojinovich said.

Arrest reports paint a picture of an intoxicated, unruly, and violent father and son who refused to comply with deputies' orders. The reports said that trouble began after Justin Zivojinovich got up on the band's stage after being warned not to.

The reports state that the 33-year-old Zivojinovich became verbally abusive after being asked to leave the stage. "When approached by hotel Security Supervisor Frank Barner, he said "(Expletive) off, I'm going to sing a song for my wife," according to the arrest report.

The reports said that is when his 50-year-old father came to the defense of his son and became verbally abusive with Barner.

Barner then called sheriff's deputies, and stated that he wanted both men removed from the property and issued trespass warnings.

Collier Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Knott's said in his report that he told Justin Zivojinovich he would be escorting him to the property line and issuing him a trespass warning prohibiting him from returning to Ritz-Carlton property.

"Justin stated that was fine. When Justin and I walked back into the ballroom to retrieve his property, he threw his hat and started screaming obscenities," Knott's report states. "A second male identified as Justin's father, Alex Zivojinovich, approached us and stated that his son wasn't going anywhere."

Knott alleges that he told Alex Zivojinovich that if he didn't move away from them, that he would be arrested for obstruction of justice. "Alex stated, "Take me to jail, I don't care, it's (expletive) New Year's Eve,'" Knott's report states.

Knott contends that Alex Zivojinovich then put his hands on his son's chest and began pushing him in the opposite direction of the way the deputy was escorting him.

"Justin began to struggle and resist. I placed Justin in an arm bar and began escorting him away with the assistance of Cpl. Amy Stanford to avoid any further disturbance. Cpl. Scott Russell was trying to keep Alex and several other members in their party away from us, with little success. As I looked over my right shoulder, I could see Cpl. Russell struggling with several people to include Alex and Justin's wife, Michelle."

Knott's report states that as deputies entered the service stairwell, Justin Zivojinovich began to struggle and swing his right elbow at Stanford's face.

He states that as he escorted Justin Zivojinovich to the ground he felt Alex Zivojinovich pushing into him.

"As the situation began to escalate with several people filling the stairwell, I removed my Taser (stun gun) and warned Alex to keep away. I turned to assist in handcuffing Justin and he began to thrash his body. I warned deputies of my intention to tase the wildly combative Justin."

Knott's report states that after the stun gun was then used on Justin, Alex was screaming obscenities and being extremely violent. Knott says Alex Zivojinovich ripped the police radio off of his uniform, "depriving me of calling for backup units."

Knott states that when Corporal Stanford attempted to pull Alex Zivojinovich away from him, the rock star — who arrest reports say stands 6 feet tall and weighs 230 pounds — grabbed her and shoved her down the steps, forcing her to fall on her back. Knott said that Stanford suffered injuries that required medical attention.

Alex Zivojinovich won Best Rock Talent in 1983 in the category "Guitar for the Practicing Musician." He was inducted into the Guitar for the Practicing Musician Hall of Fame in May of 1991. His Yugoslavian parents immigrated to Canada. His only formal training was during Rush's early days on the Toronto club circuit.

The Rolling Stone magazine Web site said Rush "carved itself a place in the prog-rock elite through three decades of popular releases."

"The band saw success throughout the '80s on the consistent release of albums, a rigorous touring schedule and a dedicated fan base," the Web site said.

Rush had a string of popular hits in the 1980s, such as the song "Tom Sawyer," from The Moving Pictures album of 1981. Other hits included "Limelight" and "Spirit of the Radio."

Please log in to view RANTS

If you don't have a username, click here to create an account!




 Recent News
Represent! Get Your KNAC.COM Bumper Sticker
Happenings This Week on KNAC.COM
LORDS OF THE TRIDENT Premiere 360 Degree VR Video "Zero Hour"
SAXON Unleash New Video For Track "Predator"
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE Announce New Album Broken
BYZANTINE Launches New Video For "The Cicada Tree"
ARCHER NATION Readies New Album Beneath The Dream
WARKINGS Release First Glorious Single, Video "Gladiator"
WRATH Streams New Track "Draw Blood" From The New Album Rage
DEVILSKIN Release "ENDO" Video With Important Message
KISS Announces The "End Of The Road" Final Tour
MADBALL Release Music Video For "Freight Train"
ICARUS WITCH Return With Goodbye Cruel World Album
TRIBULATION Release "Nightbound" Video
VIRGIN STEELE Will Release With Seven Devils Moonshine Special 5 CD Boxset For Their 35th Anniversary
KNAC-FM DJ THRASHPIE Release Head Bangin' Radio Book
DREAM CHILD Drop "Midnight Song" Video
WITHIN TEMPTATION Announce New Album Resist
BMG To Reissue DIO's Classic 1996 - 2004 Studio Albums
DEE SNIDER Is "American Made" With New Video
IMPELLITTERI Unleash "Run For Your Life" Video
THE POWER OF THE RIFF Makes Its Return To Los Angeles In November
GRAVE DIGGER Stream New Track "The Power Of Metal"
VOIVOD Release "Inconspiracy" Video, 7 Inch EP
CASTLE Unveils New Song "Can't Escape The Evil"
MEGADETH Bassist DAVID ELLEFSON Announces East Coast "BASSTORY" Dates
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Premiere "When The Seasons Change" Video
UNLEASH THE ARCHERS Stream Track "Ten Thousand Against One"
LACUNA COIL Release "Blood, Tears, Dust" Clip From The 119 Show - Live In London
ARCHITECTS Return With Holy Hell Album
STEELHEART Set To Release Rock'n Milan Live Album, DVD
'A BOWIE CELEBRATION' Announces 32-Date North American Winter Tour
BLACKTOP MOJO Reveal PledgeMusic Campaign To Fund Upcoming Album
POP EVIL Announces 2018 Canadian Headline Tour Dates
SODOM To Release New EP Partisan In November
CIRITH UNGOL Releases First New Track Since 1991 With "Witch's Game"
STRATOVARIUS To Release Enigma: Intermission 2
ENUFF Z'NUFF Release Video For Title Track of New Album Diamond Boy
ALCATRAZZ Reveal Parole Denied-Tokyo 2017 Live LP
SEPTICFLESH Announce Show With Live Orchestra
HELIX To Release A Helix Christmas Album
SUPERSUCKERS Debut "History Of Rock N' Roll" Video
LOUDER THAN LIFE Daily Music Schedule Announced
STEVE VAI Reveals First Round Of Guests Performing At “The Big Mama-Jama Jamathon”
FIFTH ANGEL Unleash 'Can You Hear Me' Lyric Video
GHOST Announces 2019 European Headline Dates
WITHERFALL Release "Ode to Despair" Single/Video
AUDIOTOPSY Reveal Grooving New Track "What Am I?"
KROKUS To Call It A Day With "Adios Amigos Tour"
Former MUSHROOMHEAD Frontman, Co-Founder JEFFREY NOTHING Returns With New Single
METAL ALLEGIANCE Unleash New Beer Visualizer Video For "The Accuser"
FOZZY Announces Full Canadian Tour
SEVENTH WONDER Debut New Song "The Everones"
MADAM X Release ‘Monstrocity’ Music Video
GRETA VAN FLEET Announces Its Debut Full-Length Album, Anthem of The Peaceful Army
YOB Premiere "Original Face" Video
RIVER CITY ROCKFEST Announces Band Performance Times
BEHEMOTH Launches Video For "Wolves Ov Siberia"
RED FANG Announce Late 2018 West Coast Tour Dates
OBSCURA Announce Winter 2019 Headlining Tour Dates
OZZY OSBOURNE Partners With OMAZE To Offer Fans An Epic Concert Experience
HOLTER Set To Release Vlad The Impaler Album
KAMELOT Premiere Video For "MindFall Remedy"
VICIOUS RUMORS Kick Off the "Digital Dictator 30th Anniversary Tour" With SOLD OUT Show In Santa Rosa
SEVEN KINGDOMS Announce North American Headline Tour
ANTHRAX To Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of State Of Euphoria With Special Edition
STRYPER Guitarist OZ FOX To Resume Touring After Medical Scare
GWAR Takes Over DC's Rick And Morty-Themed Pop-Up Bar
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM Announce New Album, 2019 "Tour Of Chaos"
THE VEER UNION Launch "Living Not Alive" Video
KINGDOM COME Confirms Addditonal Tour Dates For Band's 30-Year Anniversary Tour
SUNFLOWER DEAD Release "Victim" Video
SOULFLY Stream Title Track To New Album Ritual
OPETH Start Pre-Order For "Ghost Of Perdition (Live)" On 10" Vinyl


©2018 KNAC.COM. All Rights Reserved.    Link to us    Advertise with us    Privacy policy
 Latest News