Sabres forward Evander Kane put his hands on four people – three women and a man – at a Chippewa Street bar during the early morning of June 24, but he will face non-criminal harassment charges for his actions against just two women, two police sources familiar with the case told The Buffalo News.
The charges will be lodged in connection with grabbing two women – one of them by the neck – and are based on witness statements and surveillance camera video, the police sources said.
Kane also yanked the hair and grabbed the throat of a third woman, but she has not come forward to press charges, the sources said. In addition, Kane grabbed a bouncer after the bouncer warned the hockey star to stop his aggressive behavior, the police sources said.
Attorney Paul J. Cambria, who represents Kane, vehemently denied the allegations and said he, too, has looked at the videos and spoken to people associated with the ownership of the nightclub and to his client.
“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,” Cambria said. “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.”
Kane has refused to cooperate with Buffalo police in their investigation of the incidents that started shortly after 3 a.m. in Bottoms Up on the first block of West Chippewa Street and in a nearby parking lot.
In the video involving the woman police have not been able to locate, Kane is seen pulling her by the hair and then grabbing her by the throat, according to a police source who has seen the videos.
“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,” the police source said. “She has not come forward.”
Buffalo Police Department officials have declined to comment because the violation charges have not been issued.
Kane, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, is believed to be in Canada, and arrangements are being made for him to return to Buffalo in order to be issued court appearance tickets.
Police are still looking at the possibility of a misdemeanor charge, but the police sources said proving intent to impede breathing or blood flow in the neck would be difficult.
Because violations are the lowest type of offense in state law and do not pertain to criminal acts, individuals are not fingerprinted or photographed.
The police department released two reports last week listing the allegations against the 24-year-old Kane, based on statements from the other two women. They were among several people investigators interviewed. Sources have also told The News that several of Kane’s teammates were present at the bar.
In the first incident, at 3:11 a.m. police stated:
“... While inside Bottoms Up nightclub, suspect threatened complainant and made derogatory comments to her. While outside ... suspect grabbed complainant around the throat and tried pushing her into his car.”
In the second incident, at 3:15 a.m., police stated:
“… that while inside Bottoms Up, suspect grabbed her by the arms and tried forcing her out of the bar.”
It is unknown if Kane was intoxicated at the time of the incidents, the police sources said.
Kane, who is 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, tried to engage the bouncer in a physical confrontation, the sources said.
“The bouncer told him to knock it off,” one of the sources said of Kane’s physically harassing the women. “He put his hands on the bouncer, who could have crushed him, but the guy didn’t want to hurt him. It’s all on tape.”
Earlier this year, authorities cleared Kane of wrongdoing after an investigation into a sexual encounter last December. No charges were filed against Kane in that case, but police started an investigation after a young woman who spent the night with him sought medical treatment at a local hospital and said she could not remember what happened.
The Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the Buffalo Police sex offense squad determined that nothing illegal occurred.
“There was never a criminal complaint filed. After a careful and diligent examination of all the known facts, including the results of forensic and toxicological testing, neither the provable facts nor the applicable law support the filing of any criminal charges or a prosecution in this matter,” acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. had said in a statement.