Sports News

Kane pleads guilty in fracas with taxi driver

Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane arrives for the 2009 NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada June 18, 2009. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chicago Blackhawks hockey star Patrick Kane pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Thursday for roughing up a taxi driver who did not have 20 cents change, media in Buffalo, New York reported.

Kane, 20, was No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft and rookie of the year in 2008, and makes up to $3.7 million a year with performance bonuses. A native of Buffalo, he and his cousin got into a confrontation with a taxi driver there on August 9.

Kane and his cousin James Kane, 21, pleaded guilty to a non-criminal charge of disorderly conduct -- a violation that was reduced from the original misdemeanor charge, the Buffalo News reported.

Chief City Judge Thomas Amodeo ordered both Kanes to apologize to the 62-year-old driver and each pay a $125 fine, saying their records would be cleared after a year of good behavior, WGR radio reported.

As he left court Kane apologized to his family, his fans, his team and the city of Buffalo, saying it has been a “tough two weeks” and that he wanted to “put this behind me.”

According to media reports, the Kanes got into a scrape with the driver when he failed to come up with 20 cents change on taxi fare. The cab driver suffered cuts to his face, and his eyeglasses were damaged after apparently being punched in the face and head, police said.

Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Eric Walsh