Sabres' Evander Kane charged with harassment at bar
Prosecutors dropped sexual assault charge against forward in March
Sabres forward Evander Kane was arrested by Buffalo police on Friday, and faces numerous charges for allegedly grabbing three women by the neck, hair and arms during an altercation at a downtown bar last month.
The 24-year-old Kane was handcuffed after turning himself in outside the police department's downtown booking facility. Kane was processed and released, and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Aug. 1. He faces four counts of non-criminal harassment, one count of disorderly conduct and a count of misdemeanour trespass as a result of the altercation that happened in the early hours of June 25 — the same day the NHL's two-day draft opened in Buffalo.
The arrest was made a day after investigators informed the player's lawyer of the charges and requested Kane surrender himself, Buffalo police downtown district chief Joseph Gramaglia said.
Kane's lawyer Paul Cambria told The Associated Press by phone that his client denies the charges. Cambria questioned why Kane was charged with trespassing when he was invited to the bar by the establishment's owner.
Cambria was also surprised police handcuffed Kane outside the facility, when his client voluntarily surrendered.
"Obviously, it wasn't necessary," Cambria said. "But we don't govern their actions."
Gramaglia said it is police policy to handcuff all suspects upon entering the secure facility regardless of who they are or the charges.
Gramaglia said the charges are based on allegations made by three women, who said they were grabbed by Kane inside and outside the bar. A male bar employee, who forcibly removed Kane from the establishment, also filed a complaint which led to the disorderly conduct and trespass charges, Gramaglia said.
He said no one was injured.
The Sabres and the NHL both issued statements saying they are aware of Kane's arrest.
The NHL said it will monitor the legal proceedings before determining whether Kane will face disciplinary action. The league added, if necessary, it could determine to have Kane directed to the NHL/NHL Players' Association's behavioural health professionals for evaluation and counselling.
String of troubles
The arrest is the latest in a string of off- and on-ice troubles for Kane, who has two years remaining on his contract.
In March, prosecutors announced after a three-month investigation that Kane would not face a sexual assault charge stemming from a December incident because there was no evidence to support the allegation.
Kane also ran into trouble with the Sabres, who suspended him for one game in February after he slept in and missed practice. It happened a day after pictures surfaced on social media of Kane celebrating in Toronto after attending the NBA all-star game.
Three weeks ago, Sabres general manager Tim Murray expressed concern about Kane by saying the player needs to behave better.
"He's going to have to pick and choose his spots when he goes out a lot better than he does," Murray said. "Whether he has done these things or not, or he is guilty of these things or not, it's not something I like getting up in the morning and reading about that's for sure."
The fourth player selected in the 2009 draft, Kane completed his first season in Buffalo after being acquired in a multiplayer trade with Winnipeg in February 2015. He scored 20 goals and added 15 assists in 65 games last season.
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