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Old 08-20-2003, 04:44 PM   #1
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Cactus arrested

'Phish' Bassist Arrested; Allegedly Found In Secluded Area With 9-Year-Old

POSTED: 9:00 a.m. EDT August 19, 2003
UPDATED: 9:03 a.m. EDT August 19, 2003

NEW YORK -- A Phish is on the hook for endangering the welfare of a minor after he allegedly tried to take pictures of a young girl inside a deserted boathouse, according to a report.

Mike Gordon, 38, was arrested after being found late at night in a secluded area with a 9-year-old girl. The girl's parents raised an alarm when she disappeared from a backstage area at Jones Beach Theater, WNBC-TV reported. But following private conversations between the band's manager and the child's parents, there's a question about whether the band's bassist will avoid facing that charge.

New York State Park Police say Gordon showed a different side after a concert last week by The Dead. Investigators say Gordon -- who calls himself "Cactus" -- was an invited guest backstage at Jones Beach. He was not invited, they say, to take a 9-year-old girl to an isolated location behind the theater.

"The area is actually like a work area for state employees who operate boats out of that area," said Maj. Richard O'Donnell, of the New York State Park Police. "It's a darkened area, not intended for public access."

O'Donnell, who is the region's commanding officer, would not discuss what the bass player told officers when he was found with the child on a dock. But a police report obtained by WNBC-TV reveals "The defendant stated he wanted to take 'art photos' of the victim."

Police confirm that Gordon has never been convicted of any crime. Law enforcement sources said that after the band member was arrested, he told officers, "I may have shown bad judgment, but I am not a pedophile."

The Law enforcement sources identify the girl's father as a leader of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, whom they say had also been invited backstage to watch The Dead concert. Gordon was held for police by theater security "and the victim's father's associates -- which the police report decribes as other Hell's Angels members.

When responding to a request for an interview, Phish's manager e-mailed a joint statement from Gordon and the child's parents that reads: "It is now clear to all involved that this was an unfortunate misunderstanding, and we look forward to putting this matter behind us."

Later, in a conference call, the manager said Gordon's trying to "make amends" with the family. The girl's father added that "muckraking journalists should put the story to rest."

Both declined to discuss whether the musician is paying compensation.

When asked by WNBC-TV if there was any reasonable explanation for Gordon to have been with the girl at 1:00 AM in a secluded boat house, Maj. O'Donnell of the State Park Police said "I have no explanation for it."

The commander says he "absolutely" stands by the police investigation and has referred the bass player's boathouse rendezvous case to the Nassau County district attorney for prosecution.

The DA's office says the evidence is being evaluated. Regardless of whether Gordon has to face a judge next month, law-enforcement sources say unofficial justice was already delivered. The Hell's Angels, who detained Gordon for police, were not, the sources say, gentle with sensitive areas of the rock star's body.

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Old 08-20-2003, 06:36 PM   #2
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Old 08-21-2003, 12:14 AM   #3
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