Evander Kane’s alleged rough behavior toward three women and a bar bouncer at a downtown night club has triggered a State Liquor Authority investigation of the bar.
“We have opened an investigation and we are working with the Buffalo Police Department on it,” SLA spokesman William Crowley said, declining to comment on specifics of the probe.
The SLA routinely looks into incidents that involve reports of disorderly conduct, accosting of individuals and other disruptive actions that occur in businesses that have state licenses to sell alcohol.
During the early morning of June 24, Kane, who had been serving as a celebrity bartender at Bottoms Up on West Chippewa Street, allegedly had unwanted physical contact with three women and tried to pick a fight with a bouncer after he was asked to leave the establishment. The Buffalo Sabres forward surrendered Friday to police and was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass, non-criminal disorderly conduct and four counts of non-criminal harassment.
Kane’s work as a celebrity bartender, or guest bartender, does not figure into the SLA’s investigation, but rather how the bar handled Kane’s alleged misbehavior that resulted in police involvement, a source close to the investigation said. Two other law enforcement sources said Kane was allowed to go behind the bar and serve drinks.
Jacob A. Piorkowski, the attorney for Bottoms Up, did not return two calls made to his office Tuesday on the SLA investigation, but has said that Kane was not trespassing.
Paul J. Cambria Jr., Kane’s attorney, says it is news to him that Kane was serving drinks.
“I don’t know where they are getting this celebrity bartender from,” Cambria said Tuesday. “As far as I know, the police weren’t there.”
The SLA has requested any videos of Kane that police obtained in the course of their investigation.
In one of the videos, Kane, 24, is seen yanking the hair of one of the female victims and grabbing her by the throat. Two of the women complained to the bouncer about Kane’s unruly behavior, according to the two law enforcement sources. One of the women bar patrons also claimed that Kane had reached out and groped her while he was tending bar.
Kane was released on an appearance ticket and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Buffalo City Court on the charges. Cambria said Kane intends to plead not guilty.