Blackhawks star accused of robbing cabbie

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and his cousin, James M. Kane, were arrested around 5 a.m. ET Sunday, accused of assaulting a Buffalo, N.Y., taxi driver and failing to pay their fare.

Alleged victim says one of his assailants yelled 'Don't you know who I am?'

Hours after standing alongside the mayor of Buffalo, N.Y., at a news conference Saturday evening to announce his support for a local hockey rink, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane was being hauled away in a police car.

Kane, 20, and his cousin, James M. Kane, 21, were arrested around 5 a.m. ET Sunday, accused of assaulting a taxi driver and failing to pay their fare.

According to the Buffalo News, the fare was $13.80 US and the Kanes handed the driver $15.

After the cabbie told them he didn't have 20 cents in coins to give them change, the Kanes allegedly punched him in the face and head, took the money they had given him and grabbed him by the throat, breaking his glasses.

The driver, who asked to go by the name "J.R.," was interviewed by Buffalo television station WIVB. He showed visible marks below his left eye and on the left side of his neck.

"I didn't have 20 cents to give change, I said I didn't have change," the cab driver said.  

"The one guy was choking me, the other one was punching me saying 'Don't you know who I am? Don't you know who I am? You're messing with the wrong people.'

"I said I didn't have the 20 cents to give them change."

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NHL run-ins with the law

 Name Charge Date
 Ryan O'Byrne/Tom Kostopoulos O'Byrne (grand theft), Kostopoulos (resisting an officer without violence) Feb. 11/2008
 Eric Staal/Jordan Staal disorderly conduct July 21/2007
 Jay Bouwmeester impaired driving Sept. 22/2006
 Mark Bell suspicion of drunk driving/felony hit-and-run Sept. 4/2006
 Mike Danton conspiring/using telephone across state lines to arrange murder April 16/2004
 Dany Heatley first-degree vehicular homicide Oct. 7/2003

The Buffalo News reported a torn $5 bill was found in James Kane's pocket.

Both Patrick and James Kane have been charged with second-degree robbery, fourth-degree criminal mischief and theft of services.

Media reports said both pleaded not guilty in city court Sunday and were released.

Lost to Detroit

Patrick Kane, a Buffalo native, helped the Blackhawks to the NHL Western Conference final this past spring against Detroit, which prevailed in five games.

After notching 70 points in the regular season, the five-foot-10, 170-pound right-winger scored nine goals and 14 points in 16 playoff games.

In 2008, Kane won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.

A Blackhawks spokesman said the club was aware of the charges.

"He is a big part of our organization and a team leader and we stand behind him," Brandon Faber said. "As we are still collecting all the facts, it would be premature to comment further at this time."

Kane previously told the local press that coming back home to Buffalo was always a happy time.

"The best thing about it is my friends treat me like I'm a regular kid," he said. "They don't treat me like a celebrity or whatever they might treat me like in Chicago."

The Chicago Sun-Times reached Patrick Kane's mother, Madonna Kane, on Sunday afternoon.

"I was in Chicago and I'm just on my way home now," she told the newspaper. "So I really don't have anything to report at this time because I don't have the whole details yet. I want to know what's going on before I say anything [else]."