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Women at Chippewa bar detail aggressive action by Sabres’ Evander Kane

Sworn depositions given to Buffalo police by four people who filed complaints against Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane describe a series of aggressive incidents – including grabbing women by the neck and pulling their hair – on the night of June 24 in Bottoms Up, a bar on West Chippewa Street.

The depositions by three women who were customers and a man who worked as a bouncer at the club, with names redacted, were obtained Tuesday by The Buffalo News.

Kane, 24, was serving as a celebrity bartender at the club that night. He voluntarily turned himself in to Buffalo Police detectives last Friday and was released after he was arraigned in City Court on charges of disorderly conduct, harassment and criminal trespass.

Each of the women said Kane grabbed them forcefully by the hair. Two of them said he put his hands around their necks. The bouncer said that he needed help from another security man to remove Kane from behind the bar shortly after 3 a.m. after Kane refused his demand to leave.

“I’m scared of him. If I see him, I’ll be scared,” said a woman who declared that Kane grabbed her by the neck unexpectedly after she gave him a hug.

“It came out of nowhere,” she said. “I was surprised. I don’t really know him. He squeezed me pretty hard. I lost my breath for a second. I went into the bathroom and my neck was red. After he squeezed my neck, he kept after me about hooking up. I kept telling him no. He pulled my hair and went off.”

Later, the woman said, she encountered Kane again.

“He said to me, ‘Are you ready to leave?’ I said no,” she related. “He grabbed my wrist and pulled me through the crowd. I was scared and wanted to get away.”

A second woman told police she was near the bar, talking with friends, when Kane “comes up and pulls my hair hard. ... He pulled it so hard he pulled my whole head. It hurt a lot.”

Later, she said, he grabbed her hair again and pushed it up to her face, then argued with her until a third person stepped between them.

Another woman who is familiar with Kane gave a similar deposition.

“He came up to me like he always does,” she said. “He said, ‘You’re coming to my house with me and you’re going to like it.’ ... He grabbed my neck with both hands and pulled me close. It was like I couldn’t breathe. It hurt. When I told him no, he went off. That’s how he treats women. Aggressive and disrespectful.”

The bouncer said he told Kane that he “ ‘got a text message with complaints about you grabbing girls inappropriately.’ I told him to leave. He pushed me against the register and he was grabbed by me and another security guard. We took him out from behind the bar. He resisted us all the way to the middle of the dance floor. He broke free ... and pushed me again. ... Someone else grabbed Kane and walked him out the back.”

The bouncer added that he and other employees watched video surveillance tapes after the club closed that night and “saw Evander Kane grab a brunette by the throat on the dance floor.”

Paul J. Cambria Jr., attorney for the hockey star, downplayed the statements.

“There is more to this than meets the eye,” he contended, disputing the accounts.

“I’ve seen the video and, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t support these statements,” Cambria said.

He added that, when the matter is addressed in court, “the motives of the speakers will be examined. We’ll be delving into the motivation.”

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