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With plea deal resolved, Kane puts troubles behind
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff

From left, James Kane, attorney Paul Cambria, and Blackhawks star and Buffalo native Patrick Kane appear in Buffalo City Court where the Kane's pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges on Thursday morning,

 

Associated Press

Patrick Kane speaks after his arraignment in Buffalo (N.Y.) City Court on Aug. 20.

 

Associated Press file

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Published: 8/27/2009 11:00 AM | Updated: 8/27/2009 6:29 PM

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Patrick Kane put his legal problems behind him on Thursday when the Blackhawks all-star winger and his cousin pleaded guilty to a non-criminal charge of disorderly conduct for their Aug. 9 incident with a Buffalo, N.Y., taxicab driver.

Kane and his cousin, James Kane, were granted conditional discharges and ordered to make written apologies to the cabdriver, 62-year-old Jan Radecki, and pay $125 each in court fees.

The Kanes will avoid any additional penalties as long as they stay out of trouble for a year.

"Obviously, I'm in a little different situation than most kids at this age, but at the same time I think it's definitely been a learning lesson and something I want to move forward on," the 20-year-old Kane told Chief Judge Thomas Amodeo before receiving his sentence. "It's maybe better I learn it now than later in life."

Later, outside the courtroom, Kane apologized to his family, the city of Buffalo, the Blackhawks and his fans "for being in a regrettable situation."

"But it's behind me. It's time to move on," said Kane, who took no questions.

At the sentencing, Amodeo said his penalty was appropriate for defendants with no prior criminal record in similar situations.

Kane now can focus on his third season with the Hawks, who report to training camp in a little more than two weeks.

"We recognize that this has been a difficult time for Patrick, his family and all of those involved," Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. "We are glad this matter has finally been resolved and that this situation can now be put behind him."

A grand jury had indicted the Kanes on misdemeanor third-degree assault and theft of services and a non-criminal harassment charge. The grand jury dismissed the second-degree felony robbery charges likely due to the fact Radecki had locked the Kanes in his cab, escalating the dispute over cab fare.

The judge, who could have sentenced the Kanes to as many as 15 days in jail and a $250 fine, had some strong words for them.

"It's amazing that you're even here," Amodeo told the Kanes from the bench. "If you look at the situation and think of, 'What did I do?' and all the other alternatives you had to deal with the situation, it wasn't a smart move."

Kane's lawyer, Paul Cambria, said in court his client was a law-abiding person.

"He desires to be a tremendous role model and I believe that he is," Cambria said.

Radecki told police he was attacked around 5 a.m. on Aug. 9 when he said he didn't have 20 cents in change for their fare. He had bruises and broken glasses.

A Buffalo News report later indicated the dispute started after Radecki locked the cab doors until collecting the fare to make sure the Kanes did not leave without paying.

Cambria told the court Radecki was at fault, too.

"If any (cab drivers) try to lock people in the car and just presume that they're not going to pay them, and when they ask to be released so they can get out and get their money out of their pocket, they shouldn't keep the doors locked and drive the car down the street," Cambria said.

When a reporter asked Cambria if Patrick Kane had hit the driver, the lawyer responded: "I absolutely have no basis to say that he struck Mr. Radecki. I wasn't there. You weren't there."

Associated Press contributed.