Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Hawks' Kane indicted on misdemeanors
ESPN.com news services
An Erie County, N.Y., grand jury has dismissed the felony robbery charge against Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane and his cousin James, but both have been indicted on lesser charges.
The indictments on assault in the third degree and theft of services are misdemeanors, and a harassment indictment is considered a violation-level offense.
Patrick Kane met with reporters after the final on-ice session at the U.S. Olympic orientation camp in suburban Chicago, and he said he wasn't aware of the grand jury's decision on the charges.
"That's news to me to be honest with you, I haven't heard yet," he said. "I'll talk to my lawyer after this. If the felony's dropped, that's obviously a positive step, definitely."
Patrick Kane, 20, and James Kane, 21, will be arraigned at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday.
If convicted, the Kanes could get up to a year in jail.
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III says he'll treat the Chicago forward like any other defendant.
Asked if a plea bargain is possible, Patrick Kane's lawyer, Paul Cambria, says there have been numerous discussions but no deal is in place.
"As is the practice in all criminal cases, the assigned prosecutor and defense counsel will discuss a possible resolution of the case short of trial," Sedita said in a statement.
A plea deal would be based on the victim's wishes, the severity of his injuries and other factors, Sedita said. But Kane's celebrity status "is not such a consideration," he said, adding, "Kane will not be prosecuted more leniently or more harshly because he is employed as a hockey player."
The Kanes were arrested after an incident with cab driver Jan Radecki, 62, during the early morning hours of Aug. 9 in Buffalo. Radecki told police they attacked him when he said he didn't have 20 cents in change for the fare.
The cab driver had bruises and broken glasses.
The cabbie has said he wants a public apology from the Kanes, not jail time, said his lawyer, Andrew LoTempio.
"I can't comment as to his point of view," Sedita told The Associated Press. "The name of the action is the People of the State of New York v. the Kanes, not Jan Radecki v. the Kanes.
"We often have domestic violence cases where victims do not want to go forward, but we go forward with it anyway. I'm not saying that's the case here but just to illustrate the point. Obviously, we take a victim's wishes into consideration all the time."
Kane has avoided discussing the legal issues during the three days of activities, although he has made himself available to the media to discuss hockey issues. And he's been generous with his time, signing autographs for the hundreds of fans who have turned up to watch the American Olympic hopefuls skate.
"It's been a fun week. You see all the support you have in Chicago no matter what fans are behind you," Kane said. "I've been trying to sign a lot for them and do the right thing. Like I said before, you realize that it's a privilege to do those things. Sometimes you have to learn that."
Asked if he was looking forward to giving his side of the story, Kane said that wasn't a top priority.
"That's not a big deal to me. I'm just excited to go home at this point," he said.
Information from ESPN.com's Scott Burnside and The Associated Press was used in this report.