Ex-Meat Puppet Arrested

January 20, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Five days after being shot in the stomach by a post office security guard, ex- Meat Puppet Cris Kirkwood was arrested by federal officials Tuesday morning as he was discharged from a Phoenix-area hospital.

Kirkwood, 43, was arrested without incident and hit with a single charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to do bodily harm, according to Harriet Bernick, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office. The felony charge carries a maximum of ten years in prison.

The former bassist for the Phoenix psychedelic rock group was shot once in the abdomen on Friday after he allegedly punched the security guard and then grabbed the officer's baton and hit him in the head with it. The guard was attempting to remove Kirkwood following a verbal altercation between the bassist and another patron over a parking spot.

Kirkwood remained in federal custody Tuesday afternoon awaiting an initial appearance in which he was to be informed of the charges.

Kirkwood founded the influential Meat Puppets with his older brother Curt in 1980. The group released a string of psychedelic country punk albums that influenced bands such as Nirvana, who covered three Meat Puppets songs on their 1994 Unplugged in New York CD. But Kirkwood battled substance abuse through much of his tenure in the band. In 1999, Curt reformed the band with a new lineup that didn't include his brother; shortly afterward, Cris was jailed for possession of drug paraphernalia. The 1999 arrest followed the heroin-related death of Cris Kirkwood's wife, Michelle Tardif.

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