August 11 2009 06:30AM
The hockey world is roundly condemning Patrick Kane after reports that he and his cousin had been charged with assaulting a cab driver and depriving him of his fare. Some of that condemnation has occurred on this website.
Patrick Kane you are a cheap ass idiot! …. I’m sorry there is no defence for what he and his chicken-ass cousin James allegedly did to a Buffalo cab driver this past weekend. The Kanes have been charged with felony robbery and misdemeanour counts of theft and criminal mischief. All of this allegedly stemmed from the cabbie not having 20 cents in change. 20 cents? Really that’s what these two tight-asses were upset about? The original fare was $13.80 and the cabbie supposedly only had a dollar in change. Being that much of a tight-ass is just as embarrassing as allegedly beating up a 62-year-old cab driver.
If there is any truth to this business involving Patrick Kane over the weekend then he seriously needs to be beaten within an inch of his life by someone who has the ability to get through to him…. Beating up a cabbie? What a douche.
Of course, it isn’t really surprising. The hockey world is almost bereft of news by August (trust me on that) and this is a big story, involving a recognized star (EA Sports’ cover boy this year) doing something that (if true) is obviously way out of line. There are literally hundreds of articles out there as NHL writers across the continent took advantage of Kane’s foolishness and wrote their first easy column in weeks.
Still, let’s back up a second. The publicly available facts are limited; largely based on an initial police report seen by a Buffalo sportswriter, and on public comments from the cap driver, Jan Radecki.
Don’t get me wrong – if the initial reports are correct, Kane deserves most of the flack he’s getting, and most of the people criticizing him realize it (Wanye prefaces his comments with “if there’s any truth” and Jason Gregor uses the word “allegedly” three times in two paragraphs) but that isn’t what will be remembered. Kane has already been judged and found guilty by public opinion.
There are some things worth remembering here – the first of which is that Kane probably didn’t do it because he’s just that cheap. From today’s Chicago Tribune (g/t Second City Hockey):
During Kane's rookie season in 2007, the then 18-year-old was with his Hawks teammates in Detroit for a game against the Red Wings. I was staying in the same hotel as the team and a few hours before game time jumped into a cab and asked the driver to take me to Joe Louis Arena. After hearing my destination, the driver told me he'd just had a Hawks player in the cab and mentioned what a great guy the player was and that he had given the driver $50 for a $10 cab ride. He then showed me the autograph the player had given him and it read: "Show me the money! (signed) Patrick Kane" Irony aside, this certainly doesn't absolve Kane of any wrong-doing in Sunday's incident, but in my mind should help put to rest the notion that the altercation was because Kane, who as a rookie wasn't yet making millions of dollars but still gave the driver in Detroit a $40 tip, was too cheap to pay Radecki or tip him or that Kane disrespects working men and women such as cab drivers.
Another item worth noting is the public statements made by Radecki’s attorney, Andrew LoTempio (a rather prominent Buffalo-area lawyer and former judge):
"It's pretty much been blown out of proportion. It's a dispute over the cab fee and unfortunately Mr. Radecki didn't recognize Mr. Kane and just thought they were a couple of college kids. "Some of the cab drivers here have a policy of not unlocking the doors until they get paid because they get beat on their fees by the college kids and that just kind of blew up." … LoTempio added that he believed the charges would "absolutely not" rise to the level of a felony, calling it a "regular kid incident." The lawyer also said, "I think we should be able to work things out" with Kane.
None of this absolves Kane, but the issue is probably more about Kane and his cousin getting locked in the cab than it is about the twenty cents in change they were supposedly refused. Radecki’s initial comments seem damning, but then again if I’d been wronged (and it seems pretty clear he was) by someone like Kane I know that I’d have to fight the impulse to exaggerate the incident; perhaps Radecki had a similar impulse.
Naturally, we’ll likely never know – if for no other reason than LoTempio’s comments seem aimed at quieting the story. I can only guess at the reason, but it seems pretty clear-cut: a nice out-of-court settlement for his client.
Lastly, it isn’t like Kane has pled guilty. Kane really hasn’t said anything yet, but his attorney entered a not-guilty plea and made the following statement:
"Obviously he's upset that he would be accused of something like this," Cambria said. "He hasn't committed a crime, and I think the evidence is going to demonstrate that."
Patrick Kane will pay for his mistake – whatever the true extent of it - and his reputation likely won’t recover. Probably it’s deserved. But as far as I’m concerned, the critics making absolute statements without anything more than a superficial knowledge of the facts - which is all any of us have at this point - are moving too quickly.