College hockey player Carson Briere, son of Philadelphia Flyers interim general manager Daniel Briere, said in a statement Wednesday he is "deeply sorry" for pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down a flight of stairs at a bar Saturday.
Briere, 23, is a junior center for the Mercyhurst University men's hockey team based in Erie, Pennsylvania. His father, Daniel Briere, 45, played 17 seasons in the NHL and was named interim GM of the Flyers this past Friday.
On Tuesday, a video was posted to Twitter showing Briere and two others talking at the top of a bar's staircase next to an empty wheelchair. Briere briefly sat in the wheelchair, stood up, then pushed the wheelchair down a flight of stairs before walking into the crowded bar area.
Video of the incident was captured by a security camera inside the bar stairwell.
The individual who posted the footage to social media claimed in a tweet to know the owner of the wheelchair and said it was left at the top of the stairs because the woman had to be carried down the stairs to use the restroom.
In a statement provided to ESPN's Michele Steele on Wednesday, Carson Briere said: "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."
His father, Daniel Briere, also issued a statement, which read: "I was shocked to see Carson's actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday. They are inexcusable and run completely counter to our family's values on treating people with respect. Carson is very sorry and accepts full responsibility for his behavior."
Carson Briere just completed his third season at Mercyhurst, appearing in 30 games.
"Mercyhurst University has heard a considerable outcry regarding the social media video of student Carson Briere showing him pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down a flight of stairs," school spokesperson Debbie Morton said in a statement Wednesday. "Mr. Briere today issued a statement taking responsibility for his actions, and in doing so, he recognized his behavior reflects a 'serious lack of judgment' and that he is 'deeply sorry.'
"The actions displayed in the video make our hearts heavy and fall short of our Mercy belief in the inherent dignity of each person. We pray for and are in solidarity with the victim and all persons with disabilities who rightfully find actions like this to be deeply offensive. Our Mercy tradition also reminds us that students and all people who make poor choices deserve opportunities to learn, change behaviors, and atone for harmful actions."
The school said in a statement on Wednesday night that it determined the "three individuals in the video are student-athletes. We have placed all three on interim suspension from their athletic teams per school policy, pending the outcome of the investigative process."
The Flyers did not respond to ESPN when asked if the Briere family would be involved in any way in replacing the damaged wheelchair.
Before joining Mercyhurst, Briere was a redshirt freshman for the Arizona State men's hockey team during the 2019-20 season. But he didn't appear in a game for the Sun Devils and was dismissed from the program in November 2019.
A source close to the ASU hockey program told ESPN that Briere was dismissed for "a clear violation of team rules" and "was not a culture fit" with that team. The source said Briere's dismissal wasn't the result of a single incident but rather stemmed from repeated behavior for which he received multiple warnings.
Briere told College Hockey News in 2021 that he wasn't as committed to hockey as the program expected him to be.
"I was just going out; I wasn't taking hockey seriously. It wasn't anything bad, it was just not being committed to hockey, I was more committed to having fun at school," Briere said in the interview. "Too much partying, that's probably the best way to put it."