August 05, 2011
Well, this will bring the haters out: Sean Avery(notes) of the New York Rangers was arrested and charged with battery against a police officer early Friday morning. The LA Times reports the incident occurred at 1 a.m. PST and that Avery spent the night in jail.
Avery was having a party at his home in the Hollywood Hills a little after midnight, according to police. It was the second time officers had come to the residence after getting complaints of loud music.
When officers came to the house, Avery argued with police and attempted to go back inside his house, pushing an officer out of the way. Avery then slammed the door and refused to come out. Officers continued to talk to the 31-year-old, asking him to come out, but he refused and additional officers were called to the location.
[When] police then knocked again, and we're told the New York Rangers star came to his senses and opened up. According to law enforcement ... Avery was extremely cooperative after that, but was still booked for battery on a peace officer. He was taken to the Hollywood police station and is being held on $20,000 bail.
Thing about Avery is this: For all the "bad boy" reputation and his role as one of the NHL's greatest trash-talking pests, his off-ice life has been positively tranquil.
The last time he was close to being mixed up with the law was in 2008 when his name appeared in the little black book of a madame for high-end call girls, who later said Avery never used the service. Said Avery: "I do know that if I ever was to venture into one of these establishments, I definitely wouldn't use my own name. I think that that would probably be stating the obvious."
From a hockey perspective, The Journal News wonders if the battery charge "violates any sort of behavioral agreement Avery might have with the league following his last suspension." We'd doubt it; the suspension (and therapy) after the "Sloppy Seconds" joke were targeted for on-ice behavior.
And hey, a high-profile NHL player getting arrested for battery in August has become a semi-annual tradition -- it's just that Avery wasn't in the back of a Buffalo cab.
This feels like your classic late-night party screw up. Trouble is that when you're Sean Avery and your critics are always sharpening their knives, this isn't the type of news that simply lingers in the police blotter.
• • •
TMZ UPDATE: "NHL star Sean Avery challenged cops to a FIGHT when they responded to his Hollywood Hills home this morning ... calling them, 'Fat little pigs.'"
That said, we are impressed that Avery challenged the cops to a fight -- sorry, a FIGHT -- and apparently didn't immediately turtle.