The Buffalo News is reporting that Sabres winger Evander Kane will avoid criminal charges being pressed against him for an incident that took place in a downtown Buffalo bar two weeks ago, but he will still have to face civil (non-criminal) harassment charges. The newspaper also reports that Kane has refused thus far to cooperate with Buffalo police in their investigation.
The incident in question happened the night before the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24th at Bottoms Up on Chippewa. The charges he will be arraigned on are from two women, even though evidence gathered by the Buffalo police from witness statements and surveillance camera video show he was involved with three women and a man, the bouncer at Bottoms Up.
Kane was reported to have grabbed the throat and hair of the third woman, as well as grappling with the bouncer who had warned the player to leave the premises. The Vancouver, BC based player is said to be at home in Canada, and will have to be brought back to Buffalo for him to be issued court appearance tickets.
The left winger has appointed local attorney Paul J. Cambria to handle his case. Cambria was also the legal counsel for the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane during last summer’s high-profile trial.
Cambria went on to strongly deny the accusations after watching the surveillance tapes, having interviewed the bar’s management and speaking to Kane.
“Evander steadfastly maintains that he did not do anything wrong. We have seen the videos and they do not support that Kane did anything wrong.
“I am sick and tired of anonymous sources making inflammatory allegations. If you claim something happened, don’t hide in the shadows. Anonymous sources are worthless. The courtroom is where the truth comes out.”
A police source that has seen the videos said -
“He yanks the unknown woman by the hair and pulls her down and then grabs her around the neck in the area by the bar door. She has not come forward.”
Buffalo Police Department officials declined to comment until the violation charges have been issued.
The police department released two reports (Report 1, Report 2) last week listing the allegations against the 24-year-old Kane, based on statements from the other two women. Sources also told The Buffalo News that several of Kane’s Sabres teammates were present at the bar.
Kane has already had a run-in with the police on a sexual offense allegation late last year. A young woman who had spent the night with the player at a downtown hotel had gone to a local hospital seeking medical treatment. While no charges were pressed, the Sex Offense Squad had started an investigation, later concluding that nothing illegal had happened.
General Manager Tim Murray has spoken previously about the allegations, saying that it didn’t look good for the player and reflected badly on the team as well. Rumors had also circulated around the free agency period which started on July 1st that the Sabres were looking to trade the player. Murray is currently in Boston meeting with Jimmy Vesey’s camp, and neither the team nor Kane has made any official statements on these charges.