Evander Kane of the Buffalo Sabres has been arrested for “misdemeanor criminal trespass” among other charges, according to the Buffalo News.
Police sources had said that Kane was facing “non-criminal harassment charges” after a June 24 incident involving two women at a local club called Bottoms Up. (A third woman involved in the incident had yet to come forward to police as of early July.
Kane had been in Canada, and voluntarily turned himself in when three Buffalo police detectives met him outside City Court around 11 a.m. on Friday.
— Aaron Besecker (@AaronBesecker) July 22, 2016
Although Kane voluntarily turned himself in to police, he still proclaims his innocence and plans to fight the charges, his attorney, Paul J. Cambria, told The News.
“Without a doubt, he plans to defend himself against these charges,” Cambria said.
The attorney said it is his understanding that Kane will face one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass and up to four counts of non-criminal harassment.
An email seeking comment from the Sabres was not returned.
According to police sources via the Buffalo News, witness statements alleged that Kane “grabbed” a woman around the throat and “tried pushing her into his car” at around 3:11 a.m. At around 3:15 a.m., Kane allegedly “grabbed her by the arms and tried forcing her out of the bar.” Police said they also have surveillance camera footage as evidence.
Cambria, who also represented Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks last year when he was being investigated for sexual assault, said in early July:
“Evander steadfastly maintains that he did not do anything wrong. We have seen the videos and they do not support that Kane did anything wrong,” Cambria said. “I am sick and tired of anonymous sources making inflammatory allegations. If you claim something happened, don’t hide in the shadows. Anonymous sources are worthless. The courtroom is where the truth comes out.”
Last December, the Buffalo News reported that Evander Kane was the subject of a sexual offense investigation by police. Their sources claimed that the woman “sought medical treatment” at a local hospital but “couldn’t remember what happened,” while Kane claimed the two had consensual sex at a hotel. Cambria represented Evander Kane then as well, and no charges were filed against him.
GM Tim Murray said at the NHL Draft in late June, when asked about the bar incident, that the Sabres were waiting for the police to look into the matter. “The police will investigate. There will be evidence or there won’t be evidence. And it’ll either go forward or it’ll go away,” he said.
After his arrest on Friday, social media lit up with calls from Sabres fans to have the team cut ties with Kane, and laments that the team traded for him in 2015 in a blockbuster deal with the Winnipeg Jets.
Kane, 24, has two years left on his contract at a $5.25 million hit.
So does Murray pull a Dean Lombardi Special and try to void the contract? Do the Sabres try to move on from him now, or wait until (potentially) an expansion draft next summer? (Of all the players that are Vegas-ready …)
Or do they stand by their player who was just arrested for alleged physical altercations with women, waiting for the plea bargain or whatever Cambria’s end-game is, and decide that talent trumps all?