AC/DC's Phil Rudd Involved in 'Fracas' With Trial Witness - Rolling Stone
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AC/DC’s Phil Rudd Returns to Police Custody After ‘Fracas’ With Trial Witness

After a “chance meeting” with trial witness, the drummer reportedly fought with his own bodyguard

Phil Rudd

Phil Rudd leaves Tauranga District Court after being arrested in relation to breach of bail conditions in Tauranga, New Zealand on December 4th, 2014.

Joel Ford/Getty

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd found himself in police custody again Thursday morning after a bizarre confrontation with a prosecution witness outside a New Zealand coffee shop. The drummer is currently out on bail after pleading not guilty to both threatening to kill and drug possession charges.

According to, Rudd was at a local coffee shop when one of the witnesses in the prosecution’s case against the drummer walked in. Rudd’s lawyer described the interaction as a “chance meeting” with someone whom Rudd was not allowed to be in contact with as a condition of his bail.

The New Zealand Herald reports how the “fracas” between Rudd and the trial witness, a man who was significantly bigger than the 60-year-old AC/DC drummer, grabbed bystanders’ attentions. “I thought the big guy was trying to abuse an old man,” the café owner Leo Rojas told the New Zealand Herald. “Then I realized it was the old man trying to fight the big guy. I saw him following a taller, bigger guy and trying to punch the guy.” A shoving match ensued before a third man, described as Rudd’s bodyguard, intervened. “That’s when Phil started punching and kicking his own bodyguard, which I found funny,” Rojas said.

Police then arrived at the scene and handcuffed Rudd, and though the drummer wasn’t formally arrested, he was brought into police custody. Rudd next faced a judge who reinstated his bail on the condition that he avoid trial witnesses in the future and stop consuming illegal drugs, a stipulation that was added to his amended bail after a prosecutor argued that Rudd’s behavior was “erratic.” Rudd is facing drug possession charges for marijuana and methamphetamines stemming from his November 6th arrest.

In a strange conclusion to Rudd’s eventful day, the drummer returned to the coffee shop to reclaim his wallet and other possessions he dropped during the scuffle. Once there, he warned customers “never get involved with the mafia,” The Guardian reported.

Barring any further incidents, Rudd will next be in court on February 10th for a case review hearing. 

AC/DC put out their latest album, Rock or Bust, this week. The hard rockers intend to mount a world tour with or without Rudd. Guitarist Angus Young recently told Rolling Stone, “the drum situation is a question mark.”

In This Article: AC/DC, Phil Rudd


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