Carson Briere admits to dropping woman’s wheelchair down stairs
A tweet started circulating on Twitter yesterday that purportedly featured a Mercyhurst men’s hockey player. Carson Briereformer NHLer and current son Philadelphia Flyers GM Daniel Briére and another unidentified man who inexplicably threw an empty wheelchair down the stairs at Sullivan’s Pub in Erie, Penn. Seconds later, with the wheelchair overturned one flight down, both men casually walk into the pub as nonchalantly as if they’d tossed a red Solo cup into the bin instead of throwing someone’s access to the world down a flight of stairs.
Deadspin reached out to Mercyhurst’s athletic department last night, but did not hear back. This morning the school released a statement confirming that one of the men is Briére.
Updated: Carson Briére admitted to pushing the wheelchair and gave a statement to TMZ Sports: “There is no excuse for my actions,” he told the outlet. “And I will do my best to make up for this severe lapse in judgment.”
In her statement, Briére says she “deeply regrets” her behavior.
His father told TMZ: “They are unforgivable and completely against our family’s values of treating people with respect. Carson is very sorry and takes full responsibility for his behavior.”
Where did it start
Here is the original tweet and statement:
Julia Zukowski, who posted the original tweet, confirmed to Deadspin that the man in the white hat is Briere. Zukowski tweeted that the wheelchair was left at the top of the stairs because the woman using it (who wishes to remain anonymous) had to be taken down to use the restroom. So not only did this woman have to deal with inaccessible restrooms, but some assholes threw their chairs down the stairs without anyone noticing. A GoFundMe was created to help the woman buy a new chair.
Deadspin attempted to reach Briére for comment, but did not hear back prior to publication of this story. However, Zukowski shared this direct message from Briére that he received on Instagram shortly after the piece went viral:
This is where I stop you from emailing me “boys will be boys”! crap about boys not knowing why they destroy things, their brains not fully developed, blah blah blah. Carson Briére is not a child. He is a 24-year-old male hockey player and his father works at the highest level of hockey. This is harassment, plain and simple. It goes without saying that the only reason a wheelchair can sit unattended in a public place is if 1) someone is using it, or 2) someone needs to use it. It’s the equivalent of grabbing a wheelchair at the grocery store entrance and crashing into a display case full of canned corn. Stupid. Cruel. Absolutely articulated.
Mercyhurst said in a statement that the school is investigating. Deadspin reached out to the Erie Police Department to see if they were investigating, but we did not hear back at the time of publication.
Updated: After this story broke, Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarney told Deadspin, “We are aware of the incident, a report was recently filed, and we have begun an investigation, but we cannot comment further at this time.”
We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available or if anyone chooses to comment.