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Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Taxi Cab Convictions?

Early Sunday morning, Chicago Blackhawks star winger, Patrick Kane, was arrested (along with his cousin) in Buffalo for allegedly beating a cab driver (Jan Radecki) and taking back the fare that they paid ($15). The charges against the Kane's are for Second Degree Robbery (per the NY Penal Code, punishment must be at least 3.5 years and not to exceed 15 years in jail, and a fine of up to $5,000), and Class A misdemeanor counts for Criminal Mischief and Theft of Services (punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine). The police report (a Felony Complaint and a Misdemeanor/Violation Information Sheet) states that the Kane's paid the $13.80 meter with $15, for which $1 in change was given. When the driver did not produce the additional 20 cents in change, the Kane's took the $15 back and repeatedly punched the driver.
Since the police report was drafted, a few more facts have come to light: (1) the driver admits in an interview that he kept the doors of his minivan cab locked upon arrival at the Kane's destination, and (2) the driver may not have held a valid license. Why do we care? If you are an attorney for the Kane's, you want to paint this picture: the cab driver unlawfully restrained us in his cab by keeping the doors locked, a reasonable person would fear for his safety at 4am being restrained in a cab, and add to that the fact that my client is a star athlete who has an even greater reason to fear being put in danger. Would this defense fly? It likely will not matter. Patrick Kane is a hometown hero in Buffalo who days earlier appeared with Buffalo's mayor for a ceremony related to a financial commitment from Kane to an ice hockey rink for the City. The taxi driver does not paint the picture of an entirely innocent victim as initially reported. Attorneys for the driver and Kane have since played down this incident as well. A preliminary hearing is set for Monday, but Kane's attorney (Paul J. Cambria Jr.) has stated he is seeking to have said hearing rescheduled for later next week (Kane is due back in the Chicago suburbs on Monday for a 34-man tryout/mini-camp for the US Hockey Team's trip to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver). Look for an agreement to be reached with the prosecution for a fine and some community service, and the driver receiving some cash.
A concern for Kane could be his appearing on the cover of EA Sports' NHL 2010 for Sony and Nintendo. The game is set to hit stores on September 15, 2009. While at this stage, changing the cover is likely too late if EA Sports wished to do so, but there is precedent for a change. NHL 2004 was to feature Joe Thornton on the cover, but Thornton was dropped after an assault charge. Thornton's replacement, Dany Heatley was also removed after his involvement in a motor vehicle accident that killed his teammate, Dan Snyder. While the first shipments of NHL 2004 were released with Heatley on the cover, subsequent covers featured Joe Sakic.
I was interviewed on Fox this morning regarding this matter. Go to the link for "What's Next for Kane, Blackhawks?"


I imagine young Mr. Kane makes more then the typical 80-100 a day a cabbie here in Boston,Ma. makes? He was this infuriated over the driver not having 20 cents change that he decided to beat the man ?

Perhaps Mr. Kane and his cousin were locked inside the van to prevent them from leaving before police arrived? Also as a cabbie for 10 years I have had more then a few people who were so inebriated they could not exit the vehicle easily and became agitated that "I was locking them in" when in fact it was their inability to work a door handle/unlock button. I hope for Mr. Kanes sake there are no ex cabbies on his his jury.

Blogger webcabbie -- 8/11/2009 11:15 PM  

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