Max Hartley came to South Florida to enjoy a spring break vacation — but he left facing a criminal charge for allegedly beating Def Leppard’s drummer and a woman earlier this week.
Yet how Sam Halpern, Hartley’s lawyer, described the 19-year-old was starkly different than his actions detailed in 911 calls and an arrest report.
“He’s an extremely sweet young man,” said Halpern, of Sam Halpern P.A. “He’s never been in trouble with the law before.”
From Avon, Ohio, Hartley was an all-around athlete in high school before entering college, playing football, rugby and recreational league basketball.
“He was regarded highly with close family and friends for years,” Halpern added.
When he got to Fort Lauderdale, however, police say he assaulted two people — with a bystander describing the young man as intoxicated when it all went down.
Halpern did not comment on what provoked the attacks nor whether Rick Allen being a band member in Def Leppard played any part.
Two people attacked, chaos erupts at restaurant
On Monday, Hartley rushed a man at full speed who was smoking a cigarette in the valet section of the Four Seasons Hotel, 525 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, an arrest report read.
READ MORE: Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen attacked outside of South Florida hotel by 19-year-old
He knocked over the man, whose head hit the ground.
Fort Lauderdale police did not identify the victim, but WSVN 7 News first reported Allen was the man attacked. The 59-year-old’s condition is unknown. He was in town performing with Mötley Crüe at the Seminole Hard Rock on Sunday.
According to the report, an unidentified woman came over to help Allen before Hartley pushed her over and she, too, hit her head. He then dragged the woman back outside the hotel when she tried to escape into the lobby.
Following the attacks, 911 callers reported they apprehended Hartley after he tried to break a restaurant’s window by throwing chairs.
One caller said he seemed “very highly intoxicated.”
Spring break off to a rocky start
In his more than three decades of law practice, Halpern said Hartley’s case was pretty standard in comparison to past spring break crimes.
“You see a lot of criminal mischief, battery charges during spring break,” he said.
In fact, Fort Lauderdale police already started ramping up their preventive messaging to the public on closures and rules for incoming guests.
From March 3 through April 2, the city prohibits alcohol, tents, scooters, coolers and unauthorized vendors on parts of its beach — from the 900 block of Seabreeze north to the 1700 block of North A1A.
Another measure police are using for spring break is the Bar Watch program, which used to promote and prevent sexual assault. It is essentially a network of bartenders, police and others who watch for signs of sexual assault and other crimes.