Police have released CCTV footage of a man wanted for questioning about a February assult in Sydney’s Surry Hills on The Growl‘s bassist Marc Earley, that fractured the Perth musician’s hand and has threatened his career. The band have since cancelled their upcoming SXSW shows as Earley undergoes recovery.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports, NSW Police yesterday released the CCTV footage from the Oporto restaurant on Oxford Street in Surry Hills where the incident took place at approximately 3:30am, just hours after The Growl had finished performing at the Sydney Laneway Festival.
The attacker reportedly blinded Earley with one hand and intentionally broke the ring finger on the musician’s left hand at a right angle, causing fractures. The man, who appeared agitated, then fled the restaurant.
The 27 year old bassist, who is also an upright bassist in the Australian jazz community, was taken to Prince of Wales Hospital where he was treated for a broken finger. He has since undergone emergency surgery but will still have to endure a year of rehabilitation before he learns whether he will regain enough movement to continue his career as a working musician.
“My injury is very serious, with only a 50% chance of regaining normal movement,” Earley explained in a statement last month. “I’m not expected to see the true idea of how successful the procedure was until the 12-month mark.”
Police believe the man in the released footage can provide information about the incident. He is shown walking up to the fast food restaurant’s counter and appearing to order food, before repeatedly wiping his hands clean.
Police described him as being aged in his 40s, with an olive complexion, about 178 centimetres tall with short brown hair. He was wearing shorts and a light blue T-shirt at the time. The band have previously specified that Earley’s attacker “did not appear to be intoxicated or under the influence.” See the footage below.
The Growl frontman Cam Avery (also a member of Tame Impala) launched an online campaign to raise donations to cover the costs of Earley’s medical surgery and rehabilitation. Fans flocked to the the site, raising more than $28,000 in donations before it was closed last month.
In a statement on Facebook, Avery thanked those who had contributed. “What happened to Marc has and will continue to alter the course of his life dramatically,” it reads. “It’s an ominous thing to deal with, having the most important thing in your life, the only thing in your life and what you have spent your life working so hard at, taken away from you.”
While Earley was replaced by Pond guitarist Nick Allbrook for the remainder of The Growl’s Laneway festival performances in Adelaide and Fremantle, Avery has since announced that The Growl have cancelled their planned appearance as one of 55 Australian bands flooding Austin for the 2014 SXSW music conference.
“As most of you know some unfortunate events have taken place over the past month in The Growl camp which will have an impact on their capacity to play a full live show for sometime,” reads the notice in a description for some upcoming solo shows.
“The Growl has cancelled their trip to the SXSW music conference in Austin in the coming weeks as well as the other American dates they had planned.” The frontman will “still be attending SXSW playing 5 showcases” to perform material from a new album he’s been working on.
Police have urged anyone with information about the attack to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.
Watch: Police CCTV footage – The Growl assault in Sydney