Last Monday night, July 3, Gary Meskil, the frontman and bassist of New York crossover thrash outfit Pro-Pain, was the victim of a robbery and near-fatal group assault while on tour with the band in Brussels, Belgium. According to an account of the incident posted to the Pro-Pain Facebook page, Meskil's assailants robbed the musician of his cash, credit card and passport before assaulting him, striking his head with an ice-pick. He is currently in a Belgian hospital recovering from his injuries, which include severe head trauma, multiple fractures to the face and jaw and significant blood loss. Brussels police have identified several suspects in the attack and have confiscated at least one weapon, according to local reports.
One week later, Meskil's condition has stabilized, his loved ones say. While he's currently "resting comfortably," the bandleader will require surgery for his wounds. Meskil offered his account of the attack to Het Nieuwsblad's Tom De Smet, subsequently published by Blabbermouth:
"Last Monday, I went out with Adam [Phillips, Pro-Pain guitarist] in Brussels. Adam returned to the hotel in the Stalingradlaan in the center of Brussels, and I went for a beer in a bar nearby, around midnight. At the table next to me, there were some young guys and we started talking. It was all very friendly. Just a nice chat. After a while, I went to the bartender to pay my bill. When I returned, two of the guys I had talked to bumped into me. Then I realized that they took my wallet. I confronted them and they start hitting me. They got help from four others. They used an ice pick to hit me on the head. They kept on kicking me after I had fallen to the ground. They robbed me of a lot of money: the fees of several shows. I lost eighty percent of my blood. The doctors said that I was lucky to make it. They even had to remove glass from my eyes, because they kicked the glasses I was wearing. My jaw is broken, and I will need multiple surgeries. I don't know when I will be able to sing again. It can take weeks, possibly even months."
In the wake of last week's attack, two members of Meskil's family have set up a GoFundMe drive to cover $20,000 in medical and dental expenses not covered by the musician's insurance. Those who contribute to the fund, which has raised over $11,000 as of today, will be listed in the credits for Pro-Pain's next album. "We appreciate your kindness and generosity at this difficult time," Lisa and Gary Jr. said in the campaign description. Click here to pitch in.
Best wishes for a successful, speedy recovery, Gary!