OLD College hockey star accused of pushing double amputee’s wheelchair down stairs in disturbing video
A college hockey star has been suspended from his team after he was caught on video allegedly pushing a wheelchair down a flight of stairs.
Mercyhurst University student Carson Briere, the son of former NHL player Daniel Briere, allegedly pushed a double amputee’s wheelchair down the stairs of a bar on Saturday. His actions sparked outrage on Twitter after user Julia Zukowski posted video of the incident.
In footage from surveillance cameras at Sullivan’s Pub in Erie, Pennsylvania, a man believed to be Mr Briere is seen walking up the stairs with two other men before noticing the wheelchair parked at the top. One of the individuals signals at the chair before leaving for the dancefloor.
Mr Briere then briefly sits on the chair and allegedly pushes it down with the help of another man. The video was posted on Tuesday and quickly became viral, with more than 32 million views and nearly 100,000 likes.
On Wednesday, Mercyhurst University said in a statement that Mr Briere, 23, and two other students have been placed on interim suspension from their athletic teams pending a law enforcement investigation into the incident.
According to a GoFundMe page created to cover repair costs, Sydney Benes — the woman whose wheelchair was damaged — needs the chair to move around while she learns to use her prosthetics. The organizer of the fundraiser said he personally carried Ms Benes down the stairs to the bathroom as the bar was built before ADA compliances were enacted.
More than $8,800 has been raised, with Ms Benes reportedly wishing to allot some of that money to “help others that are in need and in similar situations”.
Mr Briere and his father have issued apologies following the incident.
I usually don’t post anything serious on my twitter but something happened Saturday night and just can’t stomach the thought of this kid getting away with it. In the video below is a @MercyhurstU student and is currently on the @HurstMensHockey team. Carson Briere. pic.twitter.com/kWWlEYEc7V
— julia (@juliazukowski) March 14, 2023
“I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday. There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment,” the 23-year-old told ESPN in a statement.
Daniel Briere, the interim general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, also said: “I was shocked to see Carson’s actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday.
“They are inexcusable and run completely counter to our family’s values on treating people with respect. Carson is very sorry and accepts full responsibility for his behavior.”
The Erie Police Department is currently investigating the incident. Meanwhile, Mercyhurst said that the hockey player’s actions did not represent the school’s values.
“We pray for and are in solidarity with the victim and all persons with disabilities who rightfully find actions like this to be deeply offensive,” Mercyhurst said in a statement to ESPN.
“Our Mercy tradition also reminds us that students and all people who make poor choices deserve opportunities to learn, change behaviors, and atone for harmful actions.”
Before joining the hockey team at Mercyhurst, Mr Briere was dismissed from the Arizona State men’s hockey team in 2019 for “a clear violation of team rules,” a source told ESPN. The dismissal was not pinned on a specific incident but rather on Mr Briere’s overall behaviour.
Mr Briere told College Hockey News in 2021 that his “partying” was the reason why he was dismissed.