Former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent was arrested Saturday night in Tennessee for aggravated assault after his wife accused him of hitting her in the face, throwing her to the floor, and dragging her through broken glass. When investigators arrived at the couple’s home, they also found the bodies of four dead dogs in sealed containers.
The 58-year-old guitarist, whose real name is Vincent John Cusano, was taken into custody and booked into the Rutherford County Detention Center around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night and was released Sunday after posting $10,000 bond. The arrest stemmed from an incident earlier in the evening when his 44-year-old wife Diane Cusano showed up at the Rutherford Country Sheriff’s Department to report that her husband had attacked her after they argued about a woman he had been talking to earlier. According to an incident report she was “covered in blood and appeared to be intoxicated because of the strong odor of an intoxicant about her person.”
Police responding to the home took Vincent into custody and discovered the dead dogs, whose bodies were being kept in sealed containers. Diane Cusano told the police that one of their other more aggressive dogs had killed the dogs, though no explanation was made for why the bodies were being kept in sealed containers.
According to Noisecreep, investigators from PAWS (Pet Adoption Welfare Services) checked out the scene but have decided not to file charges for animal cruelty. Vinnie Vincent is slated to appear in court on June 23, 2011 to answer the aggravated assault charge.
This is just the latest in a series of legal woes for Vincent since his brief stint replacing Ace Frehley in KISS in the early 1980s. In 1997 he sued principals Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley over royalties from the Lick It Up album but lost. Instead a Los Angeles judge awarded Simmons and Stanley $66,400 in attorney’s fees and $15,400 in court costs.
The guitarist never paid that settlement, and Simmons and Stanley went to court to ask a judge to allow them to sell Vincent’s portion of the copyrights to that work to settle the judgement. The guitarist then filed a series of Chapter 13 bankruptcy motions in an attempt to wipe that debt clean. His former bandmates countered by asking a judge to change the filings from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, essentially forcing Vincent into a court-enforced payment plan.
Last June the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals told the guitarist that he cannot file Chapter 13 again for two years, and that when he does it will not erase the debt he owes to Simmons and Stanley.