A surveillance camera in a bar in Pennsylvania caught a random act of cruelty on tape after a disabled woman had to be carried downstairs to use the bathroom and left her wheelchair at the top of the stairs due to the establishment lacking accessibility. The footage shows Carson Briere, Mercyhurst University hockey star and son of NHL player Daniel Briere, noticing the chair, briefly sitting in it, and then getting up and — for no discernible reason — casually pushing it down the stairs.

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Part of the seat comes off almost immediately, resting on the middle of the staircase as the rest of it tumbles to the bottom and crashes there.

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Someone who happened to personally know the owner of the wheelchair posted the video on Twitter to make sure Briere didn’t get away with his disgusting behavior.

Outrage quickly spread, and it wasn’t long before police became involved in this case of wanton property destruction. Wheelchairs are often very expensive items and extremely often difficult to afford for the people who need them, as disabled people face employment discrimination and are disproportionately low-income.

Not only are they expensive — and since this is America, typically not fully covered by health insurance — but replacing them can take a long time as they are often tailored to the disabled person’s individual needs.

Though she remained anonymous at first, the chair owner eventually came forward on Twitter, revealing her name to be “Sydney” so that she could thank the people supporting her and calling for justice, as well as her friends who helped get the word out.

“Hi [I’m] Sydney and it was my chair that was pushed down the stairs,” she wrote. “I’m so thankful for all of Sullivan’s help in this situation and the kind comments I see on Julia’s post. I swear I really don’t wanna keep a cent of the donated money, I’d much rather give it to those who need it.”

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Julia, who initially posted the video, helped to start a GoFundMe campaign to pay for a new wheelchair. It quickly raised over $8,800 before new donations were halted, and Sydney has promised that any leftover funds will go to help other disabled people in need.

As for Briere, he issued a statement apologizing for his actions.

“I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday,” he said. “There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.”

It’s not clear what he’s actually going to do to make amends, but the Mercyhurst athletics department has placed him and his two buddies from the video on suspension from their hockey teams and the Erie Police Department is investigating.

Even his dad is publicly condemning this guy.

“I was shocked to see Carson’s actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday,” said Daniel Briere in a separate statement. “They are inexcusable and run completely counter to our family’s values of treating people with respect.”

“Carson is very sorry and accepts full responsibility for his behavior.”

In the end, Briere can go ahead and fade into obscurity as his athletic ambitions hopefully end, while Sydney is offered heaps of praise for taking an appalling situation she did not deserve and turning it into an opportunity to help others.

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*First Published: March 17, 2023, 1:46 pm