It’s been a wild and troubling week for Cannibal Corpse guitarist Pat O’Brien. On Monday, the musician’s house in Northdale, Florida burned down for unknown reasons, and he was arrested that night for allegedly breaking into a nearby home and pushing down one of its residents, and then charging at police with a knife. O’Brien appeared in court the next day for his bail hearing wearing an anti-suicide vest and with both wrists and ankles shackled. He awaits release on a $50,000 bond pending a drug test.
So far, the members of Cannibal Corpse have yet to make any statements about the incident or O’Brien’s future in the band, but there’s indication that they are willing to show him some kind of support. As reported by Metal Sucks, a crowdfunding campaign, overseen by Deana Mazurkiewicz, wife of Cannibal Corpse drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, has been set up to raise some money to help O’Brien get back on his feet once he is out of jail.
“Pat is a standup guy, true to his friends, family and his band,” reads a statement accompanying the crowdfunding campaign. “Also Pat does not have insurance, and lost everything that he owns. These funds will help him get back on his feet with the regular much-needed necessities like clothing, a roof over his head, and other daily life necessities that are needed.”
The campaign, at least according to the information on the site hosting it, stops short of helping pay down any legal fees that O’Brien will be facing as a result of this incident. But Deana Mazurkiewicz does hope “that people not jump to conclusions until the full details of what occurred come out, and that you show Pat nothing but love and support and let him know that you’re there for him. Although the last 48 hours have been shocking to most people, they’ve been devastating to him.”
It’s also worth noting that O’Brien could be facing further charges beyond burglary of an occupied dwelling with assault and aggravated assault of a law officer. As has been reported widely, one reason that the fire did as much damage as it did is that firefighters had to reckon with an arsenal of explosive ammunition and military-grade flamethrowers within the guitarist’s home.
Again, O’Brien’s status within Cannibal Corpse is unknown at this point, but it’s something that will have to addressed soon as the band is set to co-headline the 2019 Decibel Tour, which kicks off on February 17th at the Alamo Music Hall in San Antonio, Texas, and will provide support on Slayer’s farewell North American tour next spring.