Former Buffalo Sabres winger Matthew Barnaby was arrested early Thursday in Nashville, Tenn., for allegedly choking a bouncer at a downtown night spot, according to a Davidson County Criminal Court affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Barnaby was already detained by security at the bar when officers from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department arrived. Security told police that an altercation had erupted between Barnaby, his girlfriend and some other patrons at the bar. A bouncer at the bar said he was choked by Barnaby during the altercation, and he announced to police his intention to have Barnaby prosecuted for assault, the affidavit said.
Officers who responded to the fracas said they observed a strong odor of alcohol on Barnaby's breath and noted that his eyes were red and watery and that his speech was slurred. Barnaby was charged with public intoxication and taken into custody by police.
Several hours after his arrest, Barnaby responded on Twitter:
"A full statement will be coming soon but at this time all I can say is that I believe the incident in question will be over and I will be vindicated very soon. Support has been overwhelming. Thank u"
Barnaby played parts of seven seasons with the Sabres, from 1992 until he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1999. He finished his National Hockey League career in 2007 with 2,562 penalty minutes and 300 points in 834 games.
Barnaby was arrested on Dec. 5, 2011, not far from his Clarence home by an Erie County sheriff's deputy who said Barnaby was driving a Porsche Cayenne with a missing tire.
He later pleaded guilty to guilty to four charges, including misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service, levied fines of $1,325 and surcharges of $625, and sent to court-ordered rehabilitation, including in-patient counseling. At the sentencing, Barnaby promised to take "proper measures" to make sure he stays out of trouble.
ESPN fired Barnaby as its hockey analyst less than a day after the 2011 arrest.