Lifeson Sues Over Arrest

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, his son and daughter-in-law have filed suit over an altercation at a 2003 New Year’s Eve party that resulted in their arrests.

The suit, filed June 2nd in U.S. District Court, names the Naples, Fla., Ritz-Carlton hotel, its security director and three sheriff’s deputies. It seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages for injuries, pain and suffering, mental anguish and the cost of their defense in the criminal cases.

Lifeson, whose real name is Alex Zivojinovich, his son Justin and daughter-in-law Michelle were arrested after Justin was escorted from the hotel after allegedly disrupting a performance.

Zivojinovich allegedly followed them out and got into an altercation in which sheriff’s deputies accused him of spitting in the face of one officer and throwing another down a stairwell. When released the following morning Zivojinovich’s shirt was covered in blood and he claimed his nose had been broken in the melee.

Michelle Zivojinovich claims she was illegally arrested when she complained about the force used to subdue her husband. The suit accuses police of applying “illegal and unjustified force” in handling Justin.

Alex and Justin Zivojinovich accepted plea agreements to serve one year probation, pay court costs and plead to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence. Adjudication was withheld, meaning there will be no formal conviction if they successfully complete probation.