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Carson Briere axed from Mercyhurst hockey team over criminal charges for shoving amputee's wheelchair down stairs

Carson Briere and another Mercyhurst athlete face misdemeanor charges for the incident caught on video
Carson Briere was seen pushing a double amputee's wheelchair down a flight of stairs (GoFundMe, Mercyhurst University Athletics)
Carson Briere was seen pushing a double amputee's wheelchair down a flight of stairs (GoFundMe, Mercyhurst University Athletics)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Carson Briere, the son of Philadelphia Flyers interim general manager Danny Briere has been removed from the Mercyhurst hockey team as he faces criminal charges. He, along with his friend Patrick Carrozzi are facing misdemeanor charges for pushing a wheelchair down a flight of stairs in February. He is facing charges of criminal mischief, criminal conspiracy to commit mischief, and disorderly conduct. 

Both Briere and Carrozzi are scheduled for a court date on May 22. Sydney Benes, the owner of the damaged wheelchair filed a complaint regarding the same. Police claimed, "These actions posed a possible threat to anyone trying to come up the stairs, while also creating a hazardous condition by blocking the staircase." 


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What was Mercyhurst hockey team's statement?

Mercyhurst Hockey Team tweeted, "Statement on behalf of Mercyhurst University and Mercyhurst University Athletics: Carson Briere has been removed from the Mercyhurst University Men's Ice Hockey Team. Mercyhurst cannot comment further on this matter."


Previously, Mercyhurst University had also addressed the issue. They claimed, "Mercyhurst University has heard a considerable outcry regarding the social media video of student Carson Briere showing him pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down a flight of stairs. Mr Briere today issued a statement taking responsibility for his actions, and in doing so, he recognized his behavior reflects a "serious lack of judgment" and that he is "deeply sorry." The actions displayed in the video make our hearts heavy and fall short of our Mercy belief in the inherent dignity of each person. 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. 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."


Who is the owner of the wheelchair? 

Sydney Benes is the owner of the wheelchair. She has mentioned in her complaint that the falling of the wheelchair damaged the left brake handle, broke the right arm rest's plastic molding, bent a rear handle and caused the wheels to drag when moving forward. Benes said the wheelchair costed close to $2000 an year ago, reports Daily Mail. Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign has been organized to buy a new wheelchair for her. 

GoFundMe campaign 

The campaign note reads, "Hi, my name is Julia Zukowski, and as you have already seen I posted a video on Twitter of a college student pushing someone's wheelchair down a flight of stairs. I am starting this gofundme to help raise money towards a new wheelchair for the person! Any donation helps :) Thank you!. As the listed organizer Nathaniel Sanders of this go fund me I would like to thank everyone for the support. This was put together in such haste in response to people wanting to make donations that a lot of information was not added to the story that probably should have been initially. " 

Further, it read, "The woman that the chair belongs to is Sydney Benes a double amputee that needs the chair to be mobile while she is learning to use her prosthetics. She wanted to remain anonymous during this till she filed a police report for the damages to the chair. That report was filed Wednesday morning and has since made her identity known. The bar that this incident happend at is Sullivans Pub in Erie PA. Sullivans is a bar that was built before ADA compliances were enacted and hence grandfathered in and the reason that the restrooms are located at the bottom of the stairs. This is the reason that the chair was parked at the stop of the stairs. I personally physically carry her down the stairs any time she has to use the restroom."

It also claimed, "Julia the original poster of the tweet that has since went viral and I are well aware that the $1,500 goal has been reached and exceeded. We have talked to Sydney and she wants to use any money in excess of what it will cost to repair or replace the chair to help others that are in need and in similar situations. We do thank everyone for their kindness and generosity with this.  Recently the chair was taken in for a repair estimate. The place that it was taken to has deemed it to be totaled ( unrepairable ) and suggested a replacement chair at a cost of $3800. Thanks to all of the generous donations Sydney will be able to get her new chair and she will be able to donate some of what’s left over to help others that are in need." 

What is the response from Carson Briere? 


Carson stated, "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." "I was shocked to see Carson’s actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday," said his father Danny at the time. "They are inexcusable and run completely counter to our family’s values of treating people with respect. Carson is very sorry and accepts full responsibility for his behavior," reports Fox News.