Denver prosecutors this week charged Neil Michael Hagerty, a musician best known for his work with indie-rock band Royal Trux, with three felonies in connection with an incident this month during which he’s accused of cutting an officer’s throat with a police badge.
Hagerty, 57, faces one count of second-degree assault of a police officer and two counts of attempting to disarm a peace officer, according to the Denver district attorney’s office. He also faces two misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest.
The incident happened just after midnight April 14 in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Street after Hagerty came out of an apartment building, where a Denver police officer was conducting a welfare check.
The district attorney’s office alleges Hagerty ripped a badge from the officer’s uniform and used the pin on the badge to cut the officer in the neck while also trying to pull the officer’s gun from its holster.
The injured officer called for backup, and police said Hagerty was combative and struggled with officers before being taken into custody. Three officers were taken to a hospital, where they were treated and released, after the incident, police said.
Hagerty, a musician and singer-songwriter, is a founding member of the band Royal Trux, which he formed in the late 1980s with Jennifer Herrema. The band was active into the early 2000s, followed by a short-lived reunion that produced a new album in 2019. Hagerty also performed in the bands Pussy Galore, Weird War and The Howling Hex.
Supporters of Hagerty launched a GoFundMe fundraising campaign on Saturday to raise money for the musician’s legal fees and to establish funds to help him with mental health concerns, according to organizer Terrilyn Hagerty.
“It is important to note that Neil has been struggling with mental health issues for a long time and this concerning incident highlights the urgent need for Mr. Hagerty to receive proper mental health treatment,” a note on the fundraiser page says. “Everyone involved with the Royal Trux is deeply concerned about Neil’s well-being and now his legal defense. Please help us get him to get the support and care he needs to recover and get back on track. Neil has never encountered this kind of trouble, but over the years his mental condition has intensified especially over the pandemic.”
The campaign was shared on social media by Royal Trux and Herrema. By Saturday evening, the page had raised more than $12,000 with a goal of $50,000.
Hagerty had an advisement hearing before a Denver judge on Friday.
He is being held at the Denver jail on a $500 bond, according to Denver Sheriff Department records.
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