Kane will take a plea deal and avoid any jail time.
Kane case expected to end in plea deal
Cousins likely to avoid criminal charges in dispute with cab driver
By Gene Warner
News Staff Reporter
Updated: August 18, 2009, 8:00 AM / 0 comments
Hockey star Patrick Kane and his cousin are expected to avoid criminal charges in a plea deal being hammered out, after both men are expected to be indicted this week on misdemeanor criminal charges, law enforcement sources said Monday.
Those sources also said the most likely plea deal would involve the Kanes either pleading guilty to a violation — maybe harassment or disorderly conduct — or being granted an adjournment that could have the charges later dropped.
Neither of those scenarios likely would involve any jail time for the two cousins.
"I think everything is going to be wrapped up by the end of the week," one law enforcement source said. "All parties are working in that direction."
Patrick Kane, 20, the Chicago Blackhawks star and South Buffalo native, and his cousin, James M. Kane, 21, were arrested on felony charges early on the morning of Aug. 9. They were accused of attacking taxi driver Jan Radecki, 62, in his cab near Canisius College during a dispute over their cab fare.
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III declined to comment on the possible outcome of the case. Sedita previously said that a county grand jury had completed its investigation Thursday. That decision is expected to be made public this Wednesday or Thursday.
"Once the grand jury has reported its findings to the court, we will treat this just like we would any other crime," Sedita said. "Mr. Kane will not receive any special treatment because he is a hockey player or celebrity. Nor will he receive any harsher treatment."
In a day filled with developments in the case, the taxi driver's attorney said his client wants a public apology, not a criminal record for the Kanes. Those comments came just hours after Kane issued a short apology about the incident.
"My client is looking for a direct public apology to him, not much more," said Andrew C. LoTempio, Radecki's attorney.
"He does not want [the Kanes] to have a criminal record," LoTempio said. "He does not want them to have any jail time. And he does not want to ruin Patrick Kane's career."
LoTempio wouldn't comment on the possible outcome in the case. Patrick Kane's attorney, Paul J. Cambria, couldn't be reached to comment.
Both Kanes face charges of second-degree robbery, a felony; criminal mischief, a misdemeanor; and theft of services, a violation.
Both sides have suggested previously that the elements of the case seemed to fall short of being a robbery.
If the grand jury comes back with misdemeanor charges, they could be for third-degree assault or criminal mischief.
Then both attorneys and Sedita would have to agree on any possible plea deal.
In cases like this, Sedita said, assuming the defendant has no criminal history, two of the most important factors in any plea deal are the feelings of the victim and the extent of the victim's injuries.
Radecki previously told the media that he suffered a broken nose and that his glasses were broken during the incident, which occurred at about 5 a.m. that day.
Law enforcement officials cited two likely outcomes for cases like this, involving misdemeanor charges against people with no criminal records.
One frequent plea deal involves a person admitting to a non-criminal violation, such as harassment or disorderly conduct.
The other involves an "adjournment in contemplation of dismissal," meaning that the case is dismissed, usually after six months, if the defendant gets into no further trouble.
Under such a deal, the Kanes could agree to a combination of an apology, community service and direct restitution for Radecki's expenses.
Either way, first-time offenders in such cases rarely, if ever, serve jail time.
Earlier Monday, Patrick Kane apologized to his family, the City of Buffalo, the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans during a very brief public statement.
Talking for just under one minute, Kane said he knows everyone wants to hear about what happened early on the morning of Aug. 9, but he said he could not discuss any specifics about the pending legal case.
"Because I've put myself ... in the wrong position in the wrong time, I've caused a lot of pain for my family, my hometown of Buffalo, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Blackhawks and obviously the great fans we have here in Chicago," he said. "And for that part, I sincerely apologize. Now it's time for me to move forward."
The young superstar opened his statement by saying he knows he has been very lucky to achieve every kid's dream of playing in the National Hockey League.
Kane made his remarks at the beginning of a news conference held in conjunction with U.S. Olympic Hockey's orientation camp being held just outside Chicago.