A disabled woman whose wheelchair was pushed down a flight of stairs by Mercyhurst University men’s hockey center Carson Briere blasted his “insincere” apology after the incident.
Briere, the son of former NHL player and interim Flyers GM Daniel Briere, was caught on camera pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down the stairs at Sullivan’s Pub in Erie, Pennsylvania on Saturday night with two other student athletes from the college.
Footage of the incident shared by Julia Zukowski shows Briere, wearing a white hat, take a seat in the chair in a hallway at the top of a stairwell before cruelly shoving it down the stairs before walking back into the crowded bar.
Zukowski claimed that the occupant of the wheelchair had to be “physically carried” downstairs to use the bathroom later that night.
The owner of the chair, who identified herself on social media as “Sydney,” bashed Briere in a series of tweets Wednesday and said she will donate most of the $8,000 raised on GoFundMe for a new wheelchair after hers was damaged.
“Hi im 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,’ she wrote on her Twitter account, @_legless_wonder, posing beside an employee of the bar.
“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,” she said, before later adding she’ll keep enough to repair her wheelchair.
Sydney said in a separate tweet that she does not blame the bar, and said security made Briere apologize before they kicked him out. But she claimed the college hockey player was “insincere” and he even asked the bouncer “Do I still have to go?” after apologizing.
She said in numerous tweets that he seemed coherent.
“They’ve shown their true colors,” she wrote in a post. “Those being that they’re entitled, spoiled, ignorant, douchecanoes. I don’t wanna ruin their lives but they’ve clearly only gotten a slap on the wrist their whole lives. They need to learn their behavior is completely unacceptable.”
On Wednesday, the school’s athletic department said Briere, as well as two other student-athletes in the video, were 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 whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.”
Mercyhurst University, which is located in Erie, said they have been 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 would like to clarify that I’m using the GoFundMe donations to help fix my chair but all the rest is going to the disabled community and to people who really need the help,” she tweeted Thursday night.
Briere, a Philadelphia native, played 30 games for the Lakers in the 2022-23 season — totaling five goals and eight assists. He was dismissed from the men’s hockey team at Arizona State 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.