College hockey player caught on video pushing unoccupied wheelchair down flight of steps at Pennsylvania bar

March 16, 2023
Ben Marquis

A college hockey player in Pennsylvania with a famous father who previously played and now manages in the National Hockey League is under heavy criticism for mistreating a disabled student.

Carson Briere, who is a student-athlete at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, was caught on surveillance camera as he deliberately pushed an unoccupied wheelchair belonging to a disabled fellow student down a flight of stairs at a local bar, Breitbart reported.

Briere is the son of former NHL player Daniel Briere, who was just recently named the interim general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers organization.

Caught on video

The incident involving Briere that occurred on Saturday night was caught on a surveillance camera and was eventually posted to social media this week by a woman named Julia Zukowski, who later identified herself as a student employee at the local bar known as Sullivan's Pub.

The video shows Briere and two other individuals ascend the flight of stairs and then pause at the top to talk for a moment. While there, Briere then briefly sat in the empty wheelchair and moved back and forth in it before getting back up and pushing it down the stairs prior to entering the bar.

University announces investigation of the incident

Fox News reported that Mercyhurst University eventually replied to Zukowski's tweet with a statement that acknowledged the incident and announced that it was being investigated.

"Late this afternoon, Mercyhurst University became aware of a disturbing video in which one of our student-athletes is seen pushing an unoccupied wheeler chair down a flight of stairs at a local establishment," the school said. "Our Office of Student Conduct and Department of Police and Safety are investigating."

In subsequent posts to her initial tweet on Tuesday, Zukowski, in addition to identifying herself as an employee at the bar, also eventually identified the disabled student who is a personal friend and regular customer at the establishment.

She also revealed that the wheelchair had been left briefly at the top of the stairs because the disabled student had to be carried down the stairs to use the bar's restrooms. Zukowski also posted a link to a GoFundMe account that had been established to help raise the money necessary to purchase a new wheelchair.

Statements of apology issued

A local NBC reporter in Philadelphia on Wednesday entered Zukowski's thread of tweets and shared statements that had been issued by both Carson and Daniel Briere.

"I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday," the son said. "There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment."

"I was shocked to see Carson's actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday," the father 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."

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