A man wearing a Boston Celtics jersey was arrested Sunday for allegedly throwing a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving. Police identified the suspect as Cole Buckley, 21. It followed a pretty testy day at the TD Garden arena in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics lost 141-126 to the Nets, meaning they are now down 3-1 in their playoff series and on the brink of elimination. There was also another incident in which cops said a fan attacked a police officer.
The water bottle incident can be seen in video below.
A bottle of water appeared to have been thrown at Kyrie Irving as the Nets were exiting the floor in Boston. pic.twitter.com/u6pZDCaArJ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 31, 2021
A witness said it was Buckley who did it, Boston police told Law&Crime in a phone interview. The investigation is ongoing. Buckley is scheduled for an arraignment on Tuesday at Boston Municipal Court on a count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. This charge is a serious one.
Here’s what Massachusetts law says:
(b) Whoever commits an assault and battery upon another by means of a dangerous weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years or in the house of correction for not more than 21/2 years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Buckley also faces a lifetime ban from being able to watch the Celtics at TD Garden.
“It’s unfortunate that sports has come to a lot of this kind of crossroads, where you’re seeing a lot of old ways come up,” Irving said in a press conference after the game. “It’s been that way in history in terms of entertainment, performers, and sports for a long period of time, and just underlying racism and just treating people like they’re in a human zoo, throwing stuff at people, saying things. There’s a certain point where it gets to be too much.”
“It’s unfortunate that sports has come to a lot of this kind of crossroads. … Just underlying racism and just treating people like they’re in a human zoo.”
Kyrie Irving speaks out after a fan threw a water bottle at him in Boston. pic.twitter.com/IXfE8I0EE8
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 31, 2021
There’s apparently no love lost between Irving and Boston, where he played before joining Brooklyn. Video shows him appearing to pointedly step on the Celtics logo on mid-court before the bottle incident. Fans have booed Irving any time he’s touched the basketball.
The water bottle toss was not the only fan-related incident that led to an arrest at TD Garden on Sunday. A man identified as William Leite, 35, attacked a police officer, authorities said. According to cops, arena security told an officer there was a fan trying to fight several Brooklyn Nets fans. The officer asked him to leave. Leite allegedly became confrontational, said he paid 40 dollars for tickets, said he was not leaving, and told the officer he was not strong enough to arrest him. He allegedly pushed the officer in the face, shoved him away, and grabbed the officer’s wrist. TD Garden security helped arrest him.
Leite is charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest. He is also scheduled for an arraignment tomorrow at Boston Municipal Court.
It is unclear if Leite or Buckley have attorneys.
[Image via YES Network screeengrab]
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