The lead singer of Y2K rockers Alien Ant Farm was charged with battery following an incident at a Florida concert where he touched his own genitals with the outreached hand of a fan.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office charged Dryden Mitchell, frontman for the band best known for their nu-metal rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” with the misdemeanor battery charge on Dec. 30, two months after the incident occurred during an Alien Ant Farm concert at Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The news was first reported by The Daily Mail.
In footage from the concert — captured at the 2:50-mark of the video below — Mitchell is seen grabbing the hand of a concertgoer standing in the first row during the show-ending performance of “Smooth Criminal.” The handshake turned criminal, the accuser says, when Mitchell moved both his and the fan’s hand toward his “genital area,” which he appeared to briefly touch before the fan quickly recoiled his arm.
Over two weeks after the concert, the fan, a 45-year-old male from Miami, filed an incident report, obtained by Rolling Stone, with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
“The lead singer of the Alien Ant Farm band, Dryden Mitchell, was on the stage in front of [victim] stated he had his fist in the air and was trying to get a picture with Mitchell. [Victim] advised that Mitchell grabbed his fist while it was in the air, and pulled the fist into his private area (genital area) against his pants. [Victim] stated he immediately pulled his hand away at that point.”
The accuser didn’t report the incident until mid-November, two weeks after the Oct. 29 concert. He “stated the reason for the delay in making a police report was because the incident was not sitting well with him” and “did not feel this was proper behavior to do in front of all the concert goers and also stated there were kids in the crowd as well,” the incident report states.
Attempts to reach Mitchell were not immediately successful. While Mitchell has been charged with simple battery, he has not yet been arrested or booked. When asked by the Daily Mail about the incident, the victim said, “‘I do want to tell my story but I do have to listen to my civil lawyers. I’ll be more than happy to speak later. I do want the story out there because what happened was not right.”