Celtics fan charged with felony assault and battery in Kyrie Irving water bottle incident
A Celtics fan found himself in legal trouble after he allegedly threw a water bottle at Nets star Kyrie Irving.
Cole Buckley, a 21-year-old Braintree native, was arrested shortly after the incident at TD Garden and charged Monday with “assault and bodily harm with a dangerous weapon.” He will be arraigned on Friday and also faces a life ban from the arena.
Boston Police said Cole Buckley, 21, of Braintree was arrested at TD Garden after “a witness reported that he threw a bottle of Dasani water that grazed Irving’s head.”
Buckley is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He will be arrested tomorrow at #Boston. #WCVB
– Jennifer Eagan (@Jennifer_Eagan) May 31, 2021
And as law professor Michael McCann detailed on Twitter, the felony charge will have serious consequences for Buckley, although he may strike a plea deal to reduce the charge / sentence.
Wow, Boston Police don’t take Kyrie Irving’s water bottle incident lightly. Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon is a felony in Massachusetts. A conviction can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years. A plea agreement can significantly reduce the charge / sentence, but still. Wow. https://t.co/y5DcXhGrTe
– Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) May 31, 2021
It’s unclear exactly what will happen with Buckley pending his arraignment on Tuesday. But it’s a significant result for the NBA amid a wave of player / fan incidents in recent weeks. Buckley’s arrest and the ban on fans who have popcorn thrown at Russell Westbrook, spat on Trae Young and made racist and vulgar comments in Ja Morant’s family could help deter further outbursts of bad behavior from fans in the NBA playoffs, which has drawn critical remarks from players over the past week.
Specifically, Kevin Durant said fans should “grow the f— upSpeaking of Buckley and the eruption of other incidents in the league.
“The fans grew at one point,” Durant said after Sunday’s game. “I know being in the house for a year and a half with the pandemic got a lot of people on their nerves, got a lot of people stressed out, but when you come to these games you have to realize that these men are humans.
“We’re not animals; we’re not in the circus. You don’t come to the game as a fan. So, have a little respect for the game. Have a little respect for human beings, and have respect for yourself. Your mom wouldn’t be proud if you threw water bottles at basketball players, spit at players, or threw popcorn. So grow the f … and enjoy the game. He’s taller than you. “