The mood of Lollapalooza shifted quickly for Ben Lenet Friday night.
One moment, he and his two friends were enjoying the Arctic Monkeys close out the first night of the three-day fest.
The next, Lenet, 29, was defending himself from a man who had “clamped” his teeth into his arm and ripped out a chunk of flesh.
The entire ordeal lasted no longer than 20 seconds, Lenet said.
About an hour into the band’s 8:30 p.m. set Friday, Lenet and his two friends were standing about 200 yards from the stage, slightly to the left of center. A man approached the three from behind and put one of Lenet’s friends in a bear hug, eventually throwing him to the ground.
Lenet tried to pull the man off while his other friend punched the man in the face.
“I’m not fighting him, I’m just trying to get him off my friend,” he said.
When Lenet put his left arm on the man’s shoulder, he “craned his neck back and clamped” on Lenet’s forearm.
“He’s clearly trying to bite through me,” he said.
One of Lenet’s friends gave the man a full kick to the face that “almost helped him get to his feet.”
The man then jogged off without so much as stumbling.
“I don’t know of a UFC fighter who could’ve taken that punishment and just walked away,” he said.
Lenet said police told him they had “never seen anything like this from someone who isn’t on PCP or bath salts.”
The crews in the festival medical tent ordered and ambulance for him and he was at St. Joseph Hospital by 10:15 p.m. He was given a tetanus shot and antibiotics.
That was when doctors told him that, since the man broke the skin, there is a chance that he could have passed HIV or a form of Hepatitis. He was released from the hospital about 2 a.m., he said
Lenet, who bought a three-day pass to the festival, did not go back Saturday and Sunday. He said he’s not missed more than a day or two of the festival in the last five or six years.
“This will probably be the end of it for me,” he said.
He is currently taking several drugs and an antibiotic as a precaution. Initial blood work came back negative, but he needs to go back to the doctor in 30 days and again in 120.
“At the 30-day mark, if I got a negative, they’d be 95 percent sure,” he said. “At the 4-month mark, they’d be 100 percent.”
As a child, he said, he was immunized against Hepatitis B.
Lenet said he’s heard little from Chicago Police. He has posted his story to the social media site Reddit.com in the hopes that others who were nearby when he was attacked could possibly provide police with information.
Police said nobody was in custody in connection with the attack as of Monday night.