The San Francisco Chronicle identified the alleged victim as Cecil “CJ” Curtsinger, who says his wife rented the Mickey Hart Band a custom tour bus during the group’s summer tour. The name of the company is CJ Starbuses Inc.
Although initial reports from TMZ.com and the Associated Press said the incident happened at Terrapin Hill Farm in Harrodsburg, Ky., Sept. 8, the Chronicle says the date was actually Sept. 7. The Mickey Hart Band was at the venue to play the Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival.
The arrest warrant was issued after Curtsinger signed a criminal complaint Sept. 8. According to the Chronicle, Curtsinger claims Hart’s manager ushered him to the back of the tour bus and then the drummer “threw him down, cursed him, hit him, pushed him” and ordered him to get off the bus.
Curtsinger says he was a Grateful Dead fan and that he once drove a tour bus for Hart’s fellow Grateful Dead bandmate Bob Weir.
The Chronicle notes that fourth-degree assault is a misdemeanor.
In response to the alleged charges, Hart posted the following statement on his Facebook page Sept. 13:
“I am totally baffled by a bizarre claim of assault by me coming out of Kentucky – the home of Bluegrass and a state I love dearly. Any accusation or claim of assault against me is completely false and without any basis whatsoever. I played drums on ‘Shakedown Street,’ but I never expected to be ‘The Victim or the Crime.’”
Harrodsburg Police Lt. Chad Powell told the AP an investigation about the incident is ongoing.