PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The son of Flyers interim general manager Danny Briere released a statement Wednesday afternoon to apologize after surveillance video showed him pushing a disabled woman’s wheelchair down the steps of a bar last weekend.
“I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday,” Carson Briere said. “There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.”
The incident happened at Sullivan’s Pub and Eatery in Erie, Pennsylvania. Carson Briere is a junior center on the Mercyhurst University men’s ice hockey team, which is also located in Erie.
The school released a statement in regards to the incident:
“Mercyhurst University has heard a considerable outcry regarding the social media video of student Carson Briere showing him pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down a flight of stairs.
Mr. Briere today issued a statement taking responsibility for his actions, and in doing so, he recognized his behavior reflects a “serious lack of judgment” and that he is “deeply sorry.”
The actions displayed in the video make our hearts heavy and fall short of our Mercy belief in the inherent dignity of each person. We pray for and are in solidarity with the victim and all persons with disabilities who rightfully find actions like this to be deeply offensive.
Our Mercy tradition also reminds us that students and all people who make poor choices deserve opportunities to learn, change behaviors, and atone for harmful actions.”
The video, posted by @juliazukowski on Twitter, shows Carson Briere and two other friends at the top of the steps at Sullivan’s. Carson Briere sat in the wheelchair and then pushed it down the steps.
Security took the woman downstairs to use a staff bathroom, according to Nate Sanders, the head of security at Sullivan’s. While she was downstairs, Carson Briere pushed the wheelchair.
“Nobody was sought out to make an example of,” Sanders said. “It wouldn’t of mattered if it was Danny Briere’s kid or some random person off the street. The feelings would’ve been the same. It’s a deplorable thing for someone to do.”
Sullivan’s is the seventh oldest Irish bar in the United States and was built before compliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Sanders told CBS News Philadelphia that it “sounded like someone fell down the stairs” when the wheelchair was pushed.
Sanders and security staff carried her back up the steps and put her back in the wheelchair following the incident.
Carson Briere and another friend were kicked out of the bar after security reviewed the camera footage, Sanders said.
Sanders said the push “messed up barrings in the wheels,” pieces cracked on the armrests, issues with one of the brakes.
Sanders started an online fundraiser to help the woman buy a new wheelchair. She plans to buy a new one and then pass along the rest of the money to help others.
Sanders said the woman is “overwhelmed” by all of this and wants Briere and the other young men to be held accountable.
Danny Briere released a statement about the incident involving his son.
“I was shocked to see Carson’s actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday,” Danny Briere said. “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.”