An off-duty police officer employed by Patrick Kane for the past five years is the latest person to come forward with his account of events leading up to an alleged sexual assault involving the Blackhawks superstar.
Lieut. Thomas English, who describes himself as a longtime family friend, told The Buffalo News that he served as Kane’s chauffeur on Aug. 2. English said that he was with a group that included Kane and the alleged victim at SkyBar, a downtown Buffalo nightclub, before driving Kane, two women and one of Kane’s male friends to the player’s suburban Buffalo home. The officer then drove himself home.
Although English admitted that he has no way of knowing what happened between Kane and the alleged victim once they were inside Kane’s house, he told officers investigating the case that he saw “no inappropriate behavior [at SkyBar] or on the drive to Kane’s home.”
“It was a mutual agreement to go hang out at the house,” English said.
He also disputed the accounts of three sources quoted last week by the News, who told the paper that the alleged victim went to Kane’s home because she did not want her friend to go there alone. According to English, the alleged victim convinced her female friend to go with her to Kane’s home.
Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria, Jr., said that Lieutenant English’s account is significant because the officer “witnessed Kane’s conduct with the alleged victim prior to the alleged attack.” As an employee of Kane’s, however, English is not without bias—much like the friends who stepped up to defend the reputation of the alleged victim, but who did not witness the alleged attack.
English has made no secret of his friendship with Kane, having posted images to social media of himself with the Chicago winger, including one from 2010 that shows English in uniform and drinking out of the Stanley Cup. According to Chicago radio host Dan Bernstein, English recently deleted all of those accounts.
The News also revealed that English himself is now the subject of an internal investigation by Buffalo police to determine whether he was with Kane at any time when he was supposed to be on duty the night of the alleged rape. A law enforcement official told the paper that English “was scheduled to work a half-shift that night at the police cell block and took a half-shift off on that night as personal leave time.” But according to the News, “English said he took the entire shift off with personal leave time.”
Buffalo police officers are permitted to have second jobs as long as they file paperwork with the department. A police source told the News that English’s paperwork for his job with Kane had been properly filed.
There have been no charges filed against Kane. The investigation into the allegations is ongoing.
UPDATE: In the wake of Monday morning’s story, Kane’s lawyer embroiled himself in a Facebook war after taking issue with the comments of a Buffalo-based blogger.
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