Police Cleared In Altercation With Rush's Lifeson

Deputies didn't use excessive force in an altercation with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson at a Florida hotel on New Year's Eve 2003, a federal judge has ruled.

Deputies didn't use excessive force in an altercation with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson at a Florida hotel on New Year's Eve 2003, a federal judge has ruled.

Lifeson, whose real name is Alex Zivojinovich, had sued in federal court claiming that Collier County deputies violated his civil rights while subduing him and his son during a skirmish at a party at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples. Tasers were used on the pair, and Lifeson's nose was broken.

But U.S. District Judge Paul A. Magnuson wrote in a ruling last week that deputies' actions "were objectively reasonable." The judge also ruled that the hotel and a security employee weren't negligent in the case. Lifeson's Naples lawyer, Michael McDonnell, said he plans to appeal.

The skirmish started when Lifeson's son, Justin Zivojinovich, agitated hotel security by getting up on a platform where the house band had been performing. Security called deputies, who escorted Justin out of the hotel with his father following behind. The two then fought with deputies in a stairwell.

Criminal charges resulted, and last year Lifeson, 53, and his son accepted a plea deal that included no jail time.

Rush's new album, "Snakes & Arrows," arrives May 1 via Atlantic. An extensive summer tour will follow.


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