A surveillance camera captured the hockey player pushing her wheelchair down the stairs at a bar in Pennsylvania.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 21, 2023. It has since been updated.
A surveillance camera in a bar in Pennsylvania captured a disturbing incident on tape. A disabled woman had to be carried downstairs to use the bathroom and left her wheelchair at the top of the stairs due to the establishment lacking accessibility. The footage showed Carson Briere, a Mercyhurst University hockey star and son of NHL player Daniel Briere, noticing the chair, briefly sitting in it and then casually pushing it down the stairs without any discernible reason. The video was posted on Twitter by someone who knew the owner of the wheelchair to make sure Briere did not get away with his disgusting behavior.
Outrage quickly spread, and the police became involved in this case of wanton property destruction. Wheelchairs are often expensive and difficult to afford for the people who need them. Also, replacing them can take a long time & effort as they are often tailored to a disabled person's individual needs, which differ from person to person.
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
According to GOD, the chair owner, who remained anonymous at first, eventually came forward on Twitter, revealing her name as Sydney. She thanked the people supporting her and called for justice, as well as her friends who helped get the word out. Julia, who initially posted the video, started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for a new wheelchair. It quickly raised over $8,800 before new donations were halted. Sydney has promised that any leftover funds will go to help other disabled people in need.
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. 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. pic.twitter.com/1I5q05jdeO— Sydney (@_legless_wonder) March 16, 2023
Briere issued a statement apologizing for his actions, stating that there is no excuse for his behavior and that he will do whatever he can to make up for this serious lack of judgment. The Mercyhurst athletics department has placed him and his two buddies from the video on suspension from their hockey teams, and the Erie Police Department is investigating. Even Briere's father publicly condemned his son's actions, stating that they are inexcusable and run completely counter to their family's values of treating people with respect.
In the end, Briere faces the consequences of his actions, while Sydney is offered heaps of praise for taking an appalling situation she did not deserve and turning it into an opportunity to help others. It is important to note that accessibility is a basic human right and must be provided in all public spaces. Such incidents should serve as a reminder to everyone to be mindful of their actions and ensure that they do not cause harm to others.