Local

Kane pleads not guilty in attack

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane faces felony and misdemeanor charges, accused of beating a cab driver in Buffalo, N.Y., in a dispute allegedly over 20 cents.

But the alleged assault involving Blackhawks star Patrick Kane may not have played out as first reported.

Kane and his cousin were arrested over the weekend for allegedly beating a cab driver. But an attorney for the driver now says the incident was blown out of proportion. And someone who claims to have witnessed the altercation says Kane and his cousin were the victims, not the driver.

The alleged witness wants to remain anonymous. He said the driver locked Kane and his cousin in the car. A Buffalo television stations report say the cabby's neighbors say he has the reputation for having a short temper and being involved in disputes with customers in the past. So far we have yet to hear from Patrick Kane.

Along with teammate Jonathon Toews, Patrick Kane, 2008 Rookie of the Year, is the face of the new Blackhawks franchise. He shot a promotional spot with kids about role models. He's on the cover of an NHL video game. A police mugshot is about the last place hawks officials want to see his face. But Kane's alleged assault on a Buffalo cab driver is a hot topic.

Cab driver Jan Radecki has described how the two beat him to Buffalo television stations. But he also admits he locked the two in his cab while he waited for payment.

"He jumped the gun. I was just going to open the door. He went berserk over 20 cents and started choking me. The other one was punching me like crazy," said Radecki.

"Some of the cab drivers here have a policy of not unlocking the doors until they get paid because they get beat on their fees by the college kids and that just kind of blew up," said Andrew LoTempio, Radecki's attorney.

The attorney predicts the case could be dropped. Sports marketing experts say Kane has a lot at stake.

"If it is an example of what his character is like, willing to battle a taxi driver for 20 cents, it could lead to serious repercussions in the future, and could very easily cost him millions of dollars in endorsements," said Marc Ganis, Sports Corp Ltd.

Sports radio host Dan Bernstein doubts it will come to that.

"The Chicago way is working out as we speak as we note from the victim's lawyer. But people, if he scores 50 goals, aren't going to care and most of the hard core meatball hockey fans don't care anyway," said Bernstein.

No one from the Blackhawks organization has offered a comment so far.

Kane is scheduled to be in town next Monday for preliminary work with the U.S. Olympic hockey team. But he is also supposed to be in court that day in Buffalo.

Kane has played his first two NHL seasons with the Blackhawks and had 46 goals and 96 assists. He won the Calder Trophy, given to the league's best rookie, in 2008.

Buffalo Police News Release

Buffalo police have arrested Patrick T. Kane and James M. Kane in connection with an incident that happened sometime after 4am Sunday morning.

Patrick Kane and James Kane have been charged with: Theft of Services, Criminal Mischief and Robbery in the 2nd degree.

Police believe the incident happened on Eastwood Place in the City. It appears the two caught a cab from Chippewa Street to Eastwood Place when some type of altercation between the two Kane's and the male cab driver occurred over the fare. The driver appears to have suffered cuts to his face and his glasses were damaged, after apparently being struck in the face and head area.

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