Man Seen Shoving Wheelchair Down Bar Stairs Is Hockey Great's Son, Victim Is Awe-Inspiring Double Amputee
The man who pushed the empty chair down the stairs was identified as Carson Briere, son of Danny Briere, a first round pick in the 1996 NHL draft who after 17 seasons on the ice transitioned into executive roles with the league.
A video of a popular college athlete shoving a double amputee’s wheelchair down a flight of stairs is causing outrage.
That video, who has been viewed more than 34 million times as of Thursday afternoon, shows a group of young men standing in the stairwell of a crowded bar, in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Not seen in the video is the double-amputee who left her wheelchair at the top of that stairwell while being carried downstairs to a bathroom but one of the bar's employees.
"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," wrote Julia Zukowski, the employee from Sullivan's Bar who posted the video on Twitter.
It starts by showing the young men talking, and at one point one of the men starts sitting in the chair.
There is some more clowning around and that is when one of the men takes the chair, tips it over, and shoves it down the stairs.
The video shows that the chair is not in the way of these men or blocking the entrance prior to this act.
Zukowski identified the man who pushed the chair down the stairs as Carson Briere, a 23-year-old junior at Mercyhurst College and member of the hockey team.
Briere started his college career at Arizona State as a red shirt freshman in 2019, but was dismissed from the program after just a few months.
His dismissal was for what the program said was a violation of team rules College Hockey News later reported in a 2021 profile of Carson.
"I was just going out; I wasn't taking hockey seriously. It wasn't anything bad, it was just not being committed to hockey, I was more committed to having fun at school," Carson said in that interview. "Too much partying, that's probably the best way to put it."
He is also the son of Danny Briere, a first round pick in the 1996 NHL draft who after 17 seasons on the ice transitioned into executive roles with the league. Danny Briere is currently the interim head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday," Carson Briere said in a statement released by the Flyers press office. "There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.”
His father also released a statement, saying: “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.”
Mercyhurst said that the three athletes in the video had been placed on interim suspension from their athletic teams, citing school policy.
Zukowski, meanwhile, created a GoFundMe page for her friend to get a new wheelchair.
She declined to name the woman whose wheelchair was shoved down the stairs, but now she has come forward.
Sydney Benes is only 22 and lost both of her kegs in a car accident a few years ago.
She has documented that journey on social media, showing an incredible amount of strength and humor as she tweets under the name @leglesswonder.
"Hi I'm Sydney and it was my chair that was pushed down the stairs. I’m so thankful for all of Sullivan’s help in this situation and the kind comments I see on Julia’s post," Sydney wrote on Twitter. "I swear I really don’t wanna keep a cent of the donated money, I’d much rather give it to those who need it."
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