Carson Briere charged after pushing amputee's wheelchair down flight of stairs
The son of Flyers GM Danny Briere was caught on video launching a double amputee’s empty wheelchair down a flight of stairs at a bar earlier this month.
Mercyhurst men's hockey player Carson Briere, who went viral earlier this month after shoving an empty wheelchair down a flight of stairs, has been charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.
Erie police reportedly filed the same charges against Mercyhurst men's lacrosse player Patrick Carrozzi, who was seen in the same video which prompted the criminal probe. According to goerie.com, Carrozzi, 21, and Briere, 23, are listed as co-defendants in the criminal complaints against them, which include second-degree misdemeanors of criminal mischief related to damaged property, criminal conspiracy to commit criminal mischief and the summary offense of disorderly conduct.
In Pennsylvania, where the incident occurred, a second-degree misdemeanor charge carries up to a two-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted, while a conviction for a summary offense carries a maximum prison sentence of 90 days and a $300 fine.
In the video, which quickly went viral on social media and amassed nearly 40 million views since it was released by bar staffer Julia Zukowski around 3:00 am on March 14, Briere and Carozzi were seen conversing at the top of a flight of stairs at a local bar called Sullivan's before pushing — and appearing to destroy — a wheelchair down a flight of stairs.
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. In the video below is a @MercyhurstU student and is currently on the @HurstMensHockey team. Carson Briere. pic.twitter.com/kWWlEYEc7V
— julia (@juliazukowski) March 14, 2023
As the video picked up steam on both social and mainstream media, Mercyhurst replied to Zukowski's thread with a statement on the incident.
"Late this afternoon, Mercyhurst University became aware of a disturbing video in which one of our student-athletes is seen pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down a flight of stairs at a local establishment. Our Office of Student Conduct and Department of Police and Safety are investigating."
The wheelchair belonged to a double amputee named Sydney, who tweeted the following a day after the video was released:
"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. 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."
The publication of the "disturbing" footage also led to apologies from Briere along with his father, Danny — a former NHL player who was recently named the interim GM of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers.
From the Flyers, statements from GM Daniel Briere and his son, Carson pic.twitter.com/wClfSlNBvh
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) March 15, 2023
Mercyhurst's athletics department suspended Briere and Carrozzi indefinitely from their respective teams last Wednesday. The school is also investigating the incident in question, a Mercyhurst spokesperson said last week.