On March 11, 2023, 22-year-old Sydney Benes went out to for what was supposed to be a fun night at Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Erie, Pennsylvania. Instead, she ended up humiliated.
Two years ago, Sydney was in a serious car accident that led to a double amputation of her legs. As a result, she is confined to a wheelchair.
Last Saturday at Sullivan’s Irish Pub, Sydney needed to use the restroom but it was on the first floor and unfortunately, down a long set of stairs. She approached a security guard who graciously carried her down the stairs to the restroom, leaving her wheelchair tucked away at the top of the stairs.
When Sydney was finished, she found her wheelchair lying on the ground, damaged. At first, she thought that perhaps someone had accidentally bumped into it but the surveillance footage told a very different story.
A man later identified as 23-year-old Mercyhurst University hockey player, Carson Brière, son of former NHL player and current interim general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, Daniel Brière, decided it would be fun to sit in Sydney’s wheelchair — and then hurl it down the stairs.
Security guards ordered Carson to apologize before kicking him out of the bar. Sydney later described his apology as “insincere.” Witnesses said Carson acted like a child and asked if he “still had to leave” if he said he was sorry. A few days later, the video was posted on Twitter and it went viral, sparking outrage. Carson has since been suspended from Mercyhurst University and as it turns out, this isn’t the first time he’s been in hot water.
Carson originally played for Arizona State University, however, he was kicked off the team in 2019 for “a violation of team rules.” The University did not provide any details, however, in a November 2021 interview about his “second chance” at Mercyhurst, Carson said he was kicked out of ASU because he partied too much and didn’t take his grades seriously. He also described himself as the type of person who “likes to give it back.”
Carson later issued an apology stating, “I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday. There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.”
On March 20th, Carson was charged with mischief and disorderly conduct along with 21-year-old Mercyhurst lacrosse player Patrick Carrozzi who was also seen in the footage.
A Gofundme raised nearly $9,000. Sydney said she will use a portion of the money to fix her wheelchair and the rest will go to others in need.
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