March 25, 2023

IN video Posted on Twitter on Tuesday, hockey great Gatineau’s son Daniel Brière was caught on surveillance camera pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down the stairs at a bar in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The video was posted to Twitter by Julia Zukowski, who said she works at the Sullivan’s pub where the incident took place and knows the man whose chair was damaged. She wrote that she released the footage because she “just can’t stand the thought of this kid getting away with it.”

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The video shows Carson Brière, 23, approaching the dance floor entrance with three other people when she notices an unoccupied wheelchair in the stairwell. He gets into the wheelchair and tries to maneuver before getting up and pushing the wheelchair down the stairs. The chair flips over and the seat cushion comes off during the descent. The extent of damage to the wheelchair is unknown.

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According to a statement from Mercyhurst University, Brier has since been suspended from his university’s NCAA hockey team following a “significant outcry” over his actions. It was determined that two other Mercyhurst athletes were with Brière that night and were also suspended.

The small university, which has about 3,000 students, added that Brière’s actions were not in keeping with the “inherent dignity of every human being” and the university solidarity with the victim and all people with disabilities who rightfully find such acts to be deeply offensive.”

Carson’s father, Daniel, is currently the interim general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers and was the top player in the NHL during his time in the league. Daniel played just under 1,000 NHL games in 17 seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes, Buffalo Sabers, Flyers, Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche and built a reputation as one of the league’s top Stanley Cup players with 116 points. in 124 career playoff games.

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In a statement via the Flyers, Carson apologized for his actions, writing, “I deeply regret my behavior on Saturday. There is no justification for my actions, and I will do everything in my power to compensate for this serious shortsightedness.”

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Daniel, who was named head of the Flyers last week when the previous general manager was fired, said he was shocked to see his son’s actions on video.

“They are unforgivable and completely contrary to our family’s values ​​of respect for people,” he said. “Carson is very sorry and takes full responsibility for his behavior.”

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Previously, Carson was fired from the Arizona State Hockey Club in 2019 for what the school called a violation of team rules.

A person whose chair was damaged in the incident came forward Wednesday night after a GoFundMe page was set up on her behalf to pay for a wheelchair replacement or repair.

“Sidney Benes is a double amputee who needs a chair that is mobile while she learns how to use her prosthesis,” the fundraising page says, adding that the 22-year-old wished to remain anonymous until she could apply to the police. for stool damage.

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The organizer of the GoFundMe page noted that Beneš’s chair was left alone in the stairwell because she used the toilet at the bottom of the stairs. Sullivan’s Pub was built before accessibility design guidelines were in place, so “I personally physically carry her down the stairs every time she needs to go to the bathroom,” wrote Nathaniel Sanders.

The original target of $1,500 was significantly exceeded, with the amount raised at the time of publication standing at just under $9,000. Beneš tweeted that she wanted to donate the extra money and thanked the staff at Sullivan’s Pub for helping with this ordeal.

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In a video posted to TikTok, Beneš explains that she lost both her legs after severe burns in a 2021 car accident. Her left leg became infected shortly after the accident, necessitating the amputation of most of the leg.

Beneš is learning to walk again in physiotherapy.

Global News has reached out to Benes for additional comment.

— With files from the Associated Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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