Carson Briere charged for pushing wheelchair down stairs
PHILADELPHIA - Three misdemeanor charges were filed Monday against the son of Philadelphia Flyers interim general manager Danny Briere after a video posted on social media showed him and another Mercyhurst University athlete pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down a staircase.
Police in Erie, Pennsylvania, filed charges of criminal mischief, criminal conspiracy to commit mischief and disorderly conduct against Carson Briere, who completed his third hockey season at Mercyhurst. Patrick Carrozzi, listed as a senior member of the school’s lacrosse team, faces the same three charges, according to documents filed with District Judge Sue Mack.
The two are scheduled to appear in court on May 22.
Briere and Carrozzi are seen on a surveillance video at the top of a staircase of a local bar, where they push the wheelchair down the steps on March 11. Police say their actions posed a potential danger to anyone coming up the stairs, while also creating a hazardous condition by blocking the staircase.
The wheelchair’s owner, identified as Sydney Benes, filed a complaint saying the fall down the stairs damaged the left brake handle, broke the right arm rest’s plastic molding, bent a rear handle and caused the wheels to drag when moving forward. Benes said the wheelchair was purchased a year ago, costing $2,000.
"We're rounding the corner and there's my chair at the bottom of the stairs, and it's all crumpled up," Benes told FOX 29's Chris O'Connell. "Both guys set it up and then push it down, and then laughed as they were walking away. I mean, they were laughing about it like they legitimately thought it was funny."
It’s unclear if Briere or Carrozzi have lawyers who can speak on their behalf.
Briere and two other athletes were placed on interim suspension, while the school investigated the matter.
A message seeking comment left with a Mercyhurst athletic department spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
Last week, the 23-year-old Briere apologized in a statement released through the NHL’s Flyers.
"I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday," he said. "There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment."
Danny Briere, who was promoted to run the Flyers after Chuck Fletcher was fired two weeks ago, said he was shocked to see his son’s actions and called them "inexcusable," while saying his son "accepts full responsibility for his behavior."
Mercyhurst previously released a statement saying the actions displayed in the video fall short of the school’s "belief in the inherent dignity of each person," adding the school’s "tradition also reminds us that students and all people who make poor choices deserve opportunities to learn, change behaviors and atone for harmful actions."
Carson Briere previously was dismissed from Arizona State’s hockey club in 2019 for what the school called a violation of team rules.