BUFFALO, N.Y. (CN) – Chicago Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane, the NHL 2008 Rookie of the Year, was arrested and charged with robbery and criminal mischief after fighting with a cab driver over 20 cents, police said.
The police report states that the 20-year-old Kane and his cousin, James M. Kane, 21, took a cab home from Chippewa Street, in the city’s nightclub district, to Eastwood Place in South Buffalo, running up a fare of $13.80.
The Kanes paid the cabbie $15. The cabbie, Jan Radecki, 62, allegedly gave them back $1 and said he didn’t have the 20 cents change. So the Kanes grabbed him by the throat and punched him in the face and head and took back their $15, according to the police report.
Radecki suffered cuts to his face and his glasses were broken, the police report states. Police called to the scene last weekend allegedly found the hockey player hiding in an upstairs bedroom in a house on Eastwood Place. The officers allegedly found a ripped $5 bill in James Kane’s pocket at the Erie County Holding Center.
Patrick Kane pleaded not guilty in City Court.
Andrew LoTempio, an attorney for the cab driver, told WGN radio in Chicago that he thinks the incident was blown out of proportion.
A Buffalo TV station has reported there are witnesses who claim the Kanes were the victims. The driver allegedly locked the cousins in the car to try to keep the “college kids” from skipping out on the fare.
Kane is due back in court Monday, the same day the U.S. hockey team’s orientation begins in Chicago. Kane is one of 34 players invited to camp, which will help determine the roster for the 2010 U.S. Olympic team.
Kane, the top draft pick in 2007 and the NHL’s 2008 Rookie of the Year was back in his hometown over the weekend to announce funding for area ice rinks. At a ceremony, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown called Kane a “hometown hero.”
Kane and teammate Jonathan Toews helped the Blackhawks make the playoffs last season for the first time in seven years. They lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference finals.
Before the incident, Kane said it was nice to have time to “hang out back home in Buffalo.”
“They don’t treat me like I’m a celebrity or whatever they might treat me like in Chicago,” he said.
Kane has 46 goals and 96 assists through his first two seasons.
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