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Ex-KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent arrested on suspicion of beating wife

May 23, 2011 |  4:29 pm

Former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent arrested This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent, real name Vincent John Cusano, was arrested Saturday in Tennessee after allegedly beating his wife and keeping dead dogs in containers, according to authorities.

Deputies were called to his home after his wife, Diane Cusano, arrived at a Rutherford County Sheriff's station smelling of booze and "covered in blood," according to TMZ. Diane indicated the dispute with her husband was over another woman.

She claimed Vinnie, 58, told her to "get ... out of the house," a quote corroborated by a neighbor who overheard them yelling, E! News reported. She then said Vincent "smacked her in the face" and "grabbed her by the hair and threw her down to the ground," dragging her through a pile of broken glass on the floor. She escaped and drove herself to the station.

When deputies arrived at the home to investigate, they discovered four sealed containers with dead dogs inside, which she claimed had been "killed by one of their [other] aggressive dogs."

Rutherford Animal Welfare officers were called to investigate.

Diane was then taken to Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro to be treated for gashes on her body, a bloody nose and bruised forehead. She was released soon after.

Vincent was booked into jail at 11:33 p.m. and released 12 hours later after posting $10,000 bail. He has been charged with one count of aggravated assault.

The musician, who got the nickname "The Ankh Warrior" for painting the Egyptian symbol of life on his face, replaced guitarist Ace Frehley in 1982. Vincent eventually left after a royalties dispute and went on to form the group Vinnie Vincent Invasion.

For the Record, 2:35 p.m. May 25: An earlier version of this post said Vinnie Vincent was the last KISS member to join the band during its reunion era; he was not. The post has been updated to reflect that change. Thanks to commenter Daniel Siwek for the catch.


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-- Nardine Saad / NardineSaad

Photo: Vinnie Vincent performing live onstage without makeup in 1983. Credit: Phil Dent / Redferns