MONTEVIDEO — Metallica lead singer James Hetfield hurled stones at reporters who were photographing him in an ice-cream parlor at a chic Uruguayan resort, the El Pais daily reported Thursday.
The singer for the hugely popular American heavy metal band was cruising with his son on a scooter Sunday in Jose Ignacio when photographers spotted him and followed him to the shop, the paper said.
"When Hetfield saw the photographers outside, he walked down the stairs to the street, grabbed stones and hurled them at the reporters," Gaston Renis, a photographer for the magazine Hola, told El Pais.
"The guy was having an ice cream. He was not in an awkward situation to react in such a manner. There were even some passersby saluting him as they recognized him right away," Renis added.
The paper said the incident caused only a few dents on the car of a photographer, who lodged a complaint with police.
Hetfield has for years spent his holidays in the region with his Argentine wife and his children.
Jose Ignacio, located on Uruguay's southern Atlantic coast 180 kilometers (112 miles) east of Montevideo, is a favorite summer haunt for celebrities and jet-setters from around the world.
Metallica was formed in California in 1981, when drummer Lars Ulrich posted an advertisement in a local newspaper, and went on to be one of the biggest rock metal acts in history, selling more than 100 million records worldwide.
Photo credit: Florian Reischauer