- Carson Brier has played for the First Division Mercyhurst Lakers since 2020
- Prior to arriving at Mercyhurst, he was kicked off ASU’s Division I team
- Mercyhurst, Erie police are investigating a wheelchair-related incident
A Mercyhurst University men’s hockey player has apologized for an incident involving a wheelchair at an Erie pub on Saturday – an incident that prompted Mercyhurst and Erie police to launch investigations.
An apology also came from the player’s father, the former NHL player who was named interim general manager of the Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.
Mercyhurst and the police launched their investigation after A.J video The incident spread on social media early Tuesday morning. The video shows the hockey player pushing an empty wheelchair down a flight of stairs.
No charges had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon, and a Mercyhurst spokeswoman said the school’s investigation, related to the students’ conduct, is still ongoing.
On Wednesday afternoon Mercyhurst issued a statement acknowledging the apology, expressing solidarity with the person who was using the wheelchair, but also noting that “people who make bad decisions” deserve opportunities to “atone for their hurtful actions.”
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“I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday,” said Mercyhurst junior hockey player Carson Brier, 23, according to a statement released to the media Wednesday afternoon. “There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do all I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.”
mother Danny Brier, 45, who played in the NHL for 17 years, including six for the Flyers. He retired as a player in 2015.
“I was shocked to see Carson’s actions in the video that was posted to social media yesterday,” Danny Brier said in the statement. “They are unforgivable and completely against our family values of treating people with respect. Carson is deeply sorry and takes full responsibility for his behavior.”
Mercyhurst: Actions on video ‘make our hearts heavy’
Mercyhurst issued a statement on Wednesday morning saying it was conducting an investigation, and issued a second statement on Wednesday afternoon, following Brier’s comments.
In the second statement, Mercyhurst said: “Mercyhurst University has heard a strong outcry regarding a video on social media of student Carson Brier showing him pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down the stairs.” Today, Mr. Breyer issued a statement holding him accountable for his actions and, in doing so, has realized that his conduct reflects a “serious lack of judgment” and that he is “deeply sorry.”
“The actions shown in the video weigh our hearts down and mercifully fall short of our belief in the inherent dignity of every person. We pray and stand in solidarity with the victim and all people with disabilities who rightly find actions like this to be deeply hurtful.
“Traditions of Mercy also remind us that students and all people who make bad choices deserve opportunities to learn, change behaviors, and atone for harmful actions.”
The woman left the wheelchair to use the bathroom
The video shows a person — who Mercyhurst identified only earlier Wednesday as a student athlete and who Carson Brier said in his statement was him — pushing a wheelchair on an escalator Saturday night in Sullivan’s, on East Third and French Streets.
No one was in the wheelchair at the time, but it was left at the top of the stairs by someone who was still at the bar and still needed it, according to information posted with the video and according to a co-owner. Sullivan, Erie attorney Rick Phillippe. The timestamp on the video shows that the recording took place around 11:38pm on Saturday.
Phillipe told the Erie Times News that Sullivan was crowded at the time of the accident after the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade earlier Saturday. The video shows an upstairs room full of people.
A patron at the bar was using the wheelchair upstairs, Felipe said, but she was helped downstairs to the bathroom and left the wheelchair at the top of the landing. Felipe said the wheelchair was pushed down the stairs as seen in the video.
“Obviously we were disgusted to see this,” Felipe said of what happened to the wheelchair.
He said the video came from a security camera in the bar. He said the bar staff got hold of the video and it ended up on social media.
Felipe, the former mayor of Erie, said he would cooperate with the Erie police if officers contacted him about the incident. A police officer was seen knocking on the doors of the Sullivan home Wednesday morning, but no one was in the building at the time. Felipe said he learned on Tuesday that the video had been posted to Twitter.
Erie Times-News has not been able to contact the person who posted the video.
Mercyhurst begins an investigation after the “disturbing video” goes viral
Mercyhurst said it also learned of the video on Tuesday. In a statement issued on Twitter at 9:44 p.m. Tuesday, the university said:
“Late this afternoon, Mercyhurst University became aware of disturbing video footage showing one of our student-athletes pushing a vacant wheelchair down a flight of stairs at a local institution.
Mercyhurst linked the statement directly to the video, which was posted to Twitter at 3:04 a.m. Tuesday.
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Erie Police Chief Dan Spezarny said Wednesday that the department is aware of the video and recently took a report on the incident. Spesarny said the case is under investigation.
Felipe said Sullivan is making renovations to make the building more accessible. He said the wheelchair incident “highlights more” the need for improvements.
Brier was kicked off the Arizona State team
A native of Philadelphia, Carson Brier has run into trouble before for his behavior.
He was kicked off the ASU Division I hockey team in 2019 before arriving at Mercyhurst in 2020 to play for the Division I Lakers.
Mercyhurst first recruited Briere when he was playing junior hockey at Johnstown of the North American Hockey Association.
Instead, Brier went to Arizona State University to play hockey. He redshirted his freshman year at ASU and was cut from the Sun Devils team his sophomore year Violation of undisclosed team rules.
Prior to his firing, Brier learned he might not have a major role on an ASU team even as a sophomore or junior year, he said in a profile published in the Erie Times News in November 2021.
Brier left ASU and played junior hockey for the Trail Smoke Eaters in Trail, British Columbia, Canada.
Then he went on to play at Mercyhurst.
“I didn’t take hockey seriously,” Brier said in a Times-News profile of his time in Arizona. “That was something that wasn’t going to work, and I wanted to find a place where I could play my style of hockey.”
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