A disabled woman whose wheelchair was pushed down a flight of stairs by Mercyhurst University men’s hockey center Carson Briere issued his “insincere” apology after the incident.
Briere, the son of former NHL player and interim Flyers GM Daniel Briere, was caught on camera Saturday night pushing an empty wheelchair down the stairs at Sullivan’s Pub in Erie, Pennsylvania, along with two other college student athletes.
Images of the incident shared by Julia Zukowski shows Briere, wearing a white hat, taking a seat in the chair in a hallway at the top of a stairwell before viciously shoving him down the stairs before walking back into the crowded bar.
Zukowski claimed that the wheelchair occupant had to be ‘physically’ carried down to use the bathroom later that evening.
The owner of the seat, who identified on social media as “Sydney,” Briere bashted in a series of tweets Wednesday, saying she’d donate most of the $8,000 raised on GoFundMe toward a new wheelchair after hers was damaged.
“Hi, I’m Sydney and it was my chair that was pushed down the stairs. I am so grateful for all of Sullivan’s help in this situation and the kind responses I see to Julia’s post,” she wrote on her Twitter account, @_legless_wonderposing next to an employee of the bar.
“I swear I really don’t want to keep a dime of the money donated, I’d much rather give it to those who need it,” she said, before later adding that she will keep enough to fix her wheelchair.
Sydney said in a separate tweet that she doesn’t blame the bar, saying security made Briere apologize before kicking him out. But she claimed the college hockey player was “insincere” and he even asked the bouncer “Should I still go?” after apologizing.
She said in numerous tweets that he seemed coherent.
“They showed their true colors,” she said wrote in a message. “Those are that they are entitled, spoiled, ignorant, suckers. I don’t want to ruin their lives, but they’ve obviously just been slapped on the wrist their whole life. They need to learn that their behavior is completely unacceptable.”
On Wednesday, the school’s athletic department said that Briere, as well as two other student-athletes in the video, placed on interim suspension from their respective teams.
“I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday,” Briere, a junior at Mercyhurst, said in a statement. “There is no excuse for my actions and I will do everything I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.”
Mercyhurst University, based in Erie, said it was made aware of the video.
The school told The Daily Mail that the Erie Police Department was taking over the investigation.
Sydney said she will use some of the GoFundMe money to repair the damaged chair, but the rest will be donated.
“I’d like to clarify that I’ll use the GoFundMe donations to help fix my chair, but the rest will go to the disability community and people who really need the help,” she tweeted Thursday night.
A native of Philadelphia, Briere played 30 games for the Lakers in the 2022-23 season, recording five goals and eight assists. He was fired from the Arizona state men’s hockey team as a freshman in 2019 for what the program said was a violation of team rules.
His father Daniel Briere played 17 seasons in the NHL, including six with the Flyers and a Stanley Cup appearance with Philadelphia in 2010.
He was just named interim general manager of the team on Friday.