AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd arrived late for his New Zealand court appearance on Wednesday. As he made his way to the courthouse he jumped onto the back of one of his security guards.
Rudd, 60, is charged with threatening to kill, which in New Zealand comes with a minimum prison sentence of seven years. He is also charged with possession of methamphetamine and marijuana.
Prosecutors dropped a more serious charge that alleged Rudd attempted to hire a hit man to kill two people due to lack of evidence, reports The New York Daily Mail.
According to, the New Zealand Herald, during his appearance, Rudd winked at reporters and drummed a rhythm on the dock. After court, he sped out of the parking lot in a black sports car.
If Rudd is found guilty of the crime, which allegedly took place on Sept. 25 and Sept 26, he faces 10 years in prison, reports People.
Rudd’s legal troubles come at a time when the band is already under major stress. As AC/DC prepares for a new album release and tour, founding guitarist Malcolm Young quit the band after revealing he is dealing with dementia.
“We’ve only become aware of Phil’s arrest as the news is breaking.We have no further comment. Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album, Rock or Bust, or upcoming tour next year,” the band posted on its website.
Rudd joined AC/DC in 1974 and was fired in 1983 after drug and alcohol use led to a physical altercation with Malcolm Young.He rejoined the band in 1994. A band photo posted on it’s Facebook page does not include Rudd.
Rudd is no stranger to New Zealand’s court system. Rudd was convicted of possession of 25 grams of marijuana in 2010. That was followed by a strange pay dispute over $65,000 worth of t-shirts that were connected to his failed restaurant business, Phil’s Place. This past March, he was charged with lying about his drug history so he could renew his pilot’s license. Rudd had let is helicopter pilot license expire and used the strange excuse that his family had gotten in the way of his renewing it.
For now, Rudd is free on bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for December 2. Coincidently, that is the same day that AC/DC releases its new album, Rock or Bust.