Woman who had wheelchair pushed by NHL star's son slams apology

PICTURED: Woman whose wheelchair was pushed down the stairs by NHL star’s son blasts his ‘disgusting’ actions and says he showed ‘zero remorse’ during apology – as she declines $8,000 GoFundMe cash

  • The woman, who only goes by ‘Sydney,’ thanked those who reached out 
  • She claimed Carson Briere was told to apologize at the bar but was ‘insincere’
  • Sydney has also declined any funds raised for a new chair on GoFundMe 

The disabled woman who had her wheelchair pushed down a flight of stairs on camera by the son of a former NHL player has spoken publicly for the first time.  

The woman, who goes by Sydney on social media, slammed hockey player Carson Briere and declined $8,000 raised for a replacement chair, while Mercyhurst suspended Briere and two others from all team-based activities. 

Sydney made a statement Wednesday night on Twitter alongside a photo of herself with an employee of the bar where her chair was pushed, Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

‘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,’ she wrote on her Twitter account, @_legless_wonder.

She added that she’s rejecting the cash raised on GoFundMe by Julia Zutkowski – who originally posted the video – that would’ve gone to getting her a replacement chair. 

‘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. ‘ 

In another tweet, she adds that the security staff at Sullivan’s ‘had Carson come apologize but it was very insincere,’ claiming that after he apologized he immediately asked ‘Do I still have to go?’ after being asked to leave the bar.

Sydney (pictured), the disabled woman who had her wheelchair destroyed after the son of a former NHL player pushed it down the stairs, has spoken publicly for the first time, ignoring his apology and declining any funds raised for a replacement chair

 The response came after Briere, a junior for Mercyhurst University’s hockey team in Pennsylvania, admitted to having a ‘serious lack of judgement’ in a statement to DailyMail.com after he was caught on camera shoving the chair down a flight of stairs at Sullivan’s last weekend. 

His father is Daniel Briere, 45, a former NHL player who scored over 300 goals in his lengthy career. Briere, who was named interim general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers five days ago, called his son’s actions ‘inexcusable’. 

Police in Erie confirmed to DailyMail.com that the investigation is still ongoing as of Thursday.  

Mercyhurst confirmed the three athletes suspension from sports activities late Wednesday.

‘After conducting an initial investigation into the incidents depicted on social media, the Mercyhurst athletics department has determined that three individuals in that video are student-athletes,’ they said in a statement.

‘We have placed all three on interim suspension from their athletic teams per school policy, pending the outcome of the investigative process.’ 

The shocking video shows Briere in a white baseball cap spotting the wheelchair at the top of the stairs before he scoots forward in it, stands up and shoves it down the steps. 

The chair had been left at the top of the stairs after Sydney had been carried down to use the bathroom. 

Carson Briere (pictured right), a college hockey player whose dad is a former National Hockey League star and is now a team executive has sparked outrage over a video in which he is seen pushing Sydney’s wheelchair down the stairs at a party over the weekend

Carson Briere, 23, is a junior for Mercyhurst University’s hockey team in Pennsylvania, after having been kicked out of Arizona State University for, in his words, ‘too much partying.’

Zutkowski posted the shocking video Tuesday, writing: ‘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.’

She added: ‘The chair was left on top of the stairs because she physically had to be carried down to use the restrooms. Which are only located downstairs.’ 

In a statement to DailyMail.com via the Flyers, Carson Briere said: ‘I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday. There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.’

Father Daniel offered similarly apologetic words in a statement of his own. 

‘I was shocked to see Carson’s actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday,’ he said in a statement. ‘They are inexcusable and run completely counter to our family’s values of treating people with respect. Carson is very sorry and accepts full responsibility for his behavior.’

Hours after their apologies, the university put out a statement, both praying for Sydney and reminding people to try and allow those who have made mistakes to correct them. 

‘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 video shows two young men in backwards baseball hats – one allegedly Briere in the white hat – walking up the stairs toward a party and briefly sitting down, speaking to a couple of fellow partygoers

Eventually, it comes into view that the man in the white hat is sitting in a wheelchair. He scoots forward in it, stands up and that callously shoves it down a flight of stairs

Briere, seen here in a photo for Mercyhurst, arrived at the school after having been dismissed from Arizona State University 

Carson’s father is Daniel Briere, 45, a former NHL player, seen here in a game against the New York Rangers in 2011

‘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 outrage was immediate on social media and within hours, the university had posted a statement on Twitter Thursday night in the replies to the video announcing campus police were investigating.

On Wednesday, Mercyhurst police told DailyMail.com that the investigation had been taken over by the Erie Police Department. 

The school’s hockey season had been over at the time of the incident, having finished eighth in their conference and not qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.

This is not the first time Briere has faced disciplinary issues on campus.

In 2019, Briere and another player were ‘dismissed’ from the program at Arizona State University ‘due to a violation of team rules,’ according to the Walter Cronkite Sports Network.

Briere – who has received invites in the past to the Flyers youth development camp – had never played for the fledgling program, having gone through the NCAA’s process of ‘redshirting,’ where college athletes often don’t play for a full season to extend their eligibility. 

He spent the rest of that school year playing junior hockey in Canada before transferring to Mercyhurst. 

Carson Briere in action for Mercyhurst in a game against conference rivals Air Force 

A GoFundMe has been started and surpassed its goal to raise money for a new chair

Briere moved from a huge, public state school in Arizona to Mercyhurst, a small program at the 2,700-enrollment private Catholic college in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

A 2021 interview in College Hockey News that headlined him receiving a ‘second chance’ went into what Briere felt the reasons were for his dismissal.

‘I was just going out; I wasn’t taking hockey seriously. It wasn’t anything bad, it was just not being committed to hockey, I was more committed to having fun at school,’ he said. ‘Too much partying, that’s probably the best way to put it.’ 

He claimed to have been taught a lesson from his experience at Arizona State that he had put to use at his new school. 

‘It made me realize once you get to this level, it’s a job, right? It’s not just something you can do for fun,’ he said. ‘Obviously, you have to have fun while you’re doing it, I think that’s what keeps people going, but also knowing when to and when not to do things.’ 

‘It’s just maturing in general. I honestly think it was a great lesson for me, helped me become a more all-around hockey player and look at life and everything in a different perspective.’

DailyMail.com has reached out to Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Erie for comment.  

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