Man who injured Toots & the Maytals singer to serve jail time

The guy that flung a vodka bottle at the Toots & the Maytals frontman was ordered to serve a jail sentence for his actions.

Update #7 — December 13, 2013; 10:29 AM

The young man who threw a vodka bottle that struck Frederick “Toots” Hibbert at last summer’s Dominion Riverrock (see below), William Connor Lewis, will serve jail time for the offense after pleading guilty on Thursday to assault and battery.

Judge Margaret Spencer ordered Lewis to serve six months, less than the one-year jail term Richmond prosecutors argued for.

But Hibbert, lead singer for Toots & the Maytals, wrote a letter, which was read during yesterday’s court proceedings, asking that Lewis not serve jail time at all.

“He is a young man, and I have heard what happens to young men in jail,” wrote Hibbert. “My own pain and suffering would be increased substantially knowing that this young man would face that prospect.”

In June, Hibbert filed a $21 million civil lawsuit against Lewis, claiming the injuries Hibbert sustained have affected his ability to perform and earn a living. That suit is ongoing, as reported by construction attorney Michael Lamonsoff.

In August, Hibbert filed a $20 million lawsuit against Venture Richmond and Sports Backers, organizers of Riverrock, claiming their negligence allowed Hibbert’s injury (see topmost post below).

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Update #6 — August 26, 2013; 12:59 PM

Frederick “Toots” Hibbert has filed a $20 million lawsuit against Venture Richmond and Sports Backers over the injuries the Toots & the Maytals singer sustained at May’s Dominion Riverrock performance (see below).

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the lawsuit also names the Strawberry Street Event and Concession (which sold alcohol at the event) and Regional Marketing Concepts, Inc. (which provided private security).

According to the lawsuit, the organizations “violated the standard of care established in the industry to provide security, to protect performers and musicians appearing in public rock concerts.”

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Update #5 — June 19, 2013; 6:44 AM

Toots & the Maytals have cancelled all previously scheduled concerts as a result of the head injuries lead singer Frederick “Toots” Hibbert sustained from a bottle thrown at him during a performance in Richmond (see below), according to a statement released on the band’s website.

This unavoidable decision was made by Toots’ medical team as it has been determined that any performances at this time could seriously compromise the artiste’s health and well being.

Cancelled performances include all dates in the band’s six-week European tour (July 3rd – August 14th). Hibbert also recently cancelled his solo acoustic tour.

Earlier this month, Hibbert filed a $21 million civil suit against the alleged bottle-thrower, William Lewis (see below).

“This tragic incident that caused serious injury to Toots is the subject of an [on]going investigation in terms of responsibility,” said Hibbert’s attorney, Michael Shapiro. “Toots and his management team share with me the view that we should only sue those who we know to have responsibility for this vicious attack.”

But Shapiro intimated that others could be the target of civil action. “As we investigate the matter fuller and that investigation indicates other responsible parties, I can assure you that we will respond in an appropriate manner to impose legal responsibility for any such actions or omissions upon any such individuals, companies, or entities,” Shapiro said.

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Update #4 — June 14, 2013; 6:24 AM

The lead singer of Toots & the Maytals has filed a $21 million lawsuit against the Henrico teen who threw a glass bottle at the singer during a performance at last month’s Dominion Riverrock (see below).

Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, 70, filed the lawsuit1 in Richmond Circuit Court on June 4th. The lawsuit seeks $20 million in punitive damages and $1 million in compensatory damages from 19-year-old William Lewis. Hibbert wants the damages to be determined in a jury trial.

Hibbert received seven stitches at VCU Medical Center shortly after the May 18th incident. The following day, Hibbert traveled to New York to begin his solo acoustic tour. However, doctors soon advised him to cancel the tour due to medical issues the reggae musician sustained from the bottle-throwing incident.

According to Billboard, Hibbert’s lawsuit claims that the canceled tour:

“…caused Hibbert to lose significant income, profits, and benefits and has exposed him to potential liability due to his inability to perform on the previously contracted tour dates. As a further and direct proximate result of Lewis’ conduct, Hibbert has been unable to work at his profession by impairing his ability to compose songs, making it impossible for him to record masters in a timely fashion and accordingly has and will lose wages in an amount to be determined at trial.”

Lewis faces a felony criminal charge of malicious wounding for his alleged actions at the Riverrock performance. He is expected to go before a grand jury on July 1st.

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Update #3 — May 26, 2013; 2:17 PM

Toots and the Maytals will cancel the remaining dates of their tour due to the health issues of lead singer Frederick “Toots” Hibbert that resulted from him being struck in the head by a liquor bottle at Dominion Riverrock (see below). The extent of Hibbert’s health issues are currently unknown.

Here are the final six dates that have been canceled:

  • May 26th • Lebanon, NG
  • May 27th • Brownfield, ME
  • May 29th • Annapolis, MD
  • May 30th • Ithaca, NY
  • May 31st • South Orange, NJ
  • June 1st • Norfolk, CT

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Update #2 — May 19, 2013; 7:07 PM

Police have arrested 19-year-old William Lewis of Henrico and charged him with felony aggravated assault, along with public intoxication, after Lewis allegedly threw a glass liquor bottle that struck Frederick “Toots” Hibbert in the head (see below).

Here’s footage of the incident (the bottle toss occurs at the 4:25 mark):

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Update #1 — May 19, 2013; 9:56 AM

Here’s an eyewitness account of the incident we received this morning, which matches a similar account over on StyleWeekly:

This is what I saw. (I was right in front of the sound booth, center crowd)

As Toots was completing an excellent reggae version of “take me home, country roads” by John Denver (that’s the one with the chorus of “West Virginia”) someone threw a large glass vodka bottle from the front of the crowd, which struck Toots directly in the head mid verse. Note: I am pretty sure it was glass, it was a large clear bottle, appeared to be a clear liquor bottle.

Toots then staggered towards stage left (from the audience’s perspective) then collapsed on the stage.

The concert immediately ended while band members assisted Toots.

One of the members of the band said something along the lines of “we’ve played in eastern block countries, dangerous places, and in the past 30 years I have never seen anything like this. Because of one asshole in the crowd, this concert is over. Toots is going to the hospital.”

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Original — May 19, 2013

Dominion Riverrock’s saturday night concert, featuring Reggae legend Toots and the Maytals, was shut down after an individual in the crowd threw an object that hit a band member. Sports Backers, organizers of the three-day event, and the Richmond police have yet to provide more details on the incident other than the short release below.

On Twitter, Several attendees said that lead singer Toots Hibert was struck in the head with a glass bottle.

The Sports Backers release:

At approximately 10:20 p.m. Saturday evening, a member of Toots and the Maytals was struck and injured by an object thrown from the crowd at Dominion Riverrock. The concert immediately ceased and spectators were asked to leave Brown’s Island.

At this time, further questions should be directed to the City of Richmond Police Department.

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  1. This is the second lawsuit Hibbert has filed in as many weeks. He recently filed suit in Manhattan Federal Court against a former manager whom Hibbert claims misled the singer into signing a contract under false pretenses, one that Hibbert claims resulted in lost income. He’s seeking $1.25 million in damages. 

Photo by: mhaithaca

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