BOSTON (CBS) – Cole Buckley, the Celtics fan accused of throwing a water bottle at Kyrie Irving at the TD Garden Sunday night, was arraigned Wednesday and ordered to stay away from the Garden.
Buckley, 21 of Braintree, faced a judge at Boston Municipal Court briefly on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf and he was released on the $500 bail he posted Sunday after his arrest. Buckley left without speaking to reporters. His attorney filed a motion to postpone the arraignment, but it was denied.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins attended the hearing.
“It is not lost on me that he chose to do this in a sport that is overwhelmingly Black men. We are not going to allow this trend to continue. Period. End of story. We have not charged him with a race-based hate crime or civil rights violation but you don’t get to behave this way,” she told reporters.
“If I showed up at your job and threw a bottle at your head and it hit you or grazed you you would want me to charge a felony on that and I would.”
Cole Buckley was arraigned on a felony charge of assault & battery with a dangerous weapon.
He's accused of throwing a water bottle at Kyrie Irving on Sunday.
Buckley has been ordered to stay away from the TD Garden.
— Anna Meiler (@AnnaMeiler) June 2, 2021
The incident happened Sunday night shortly after the Celtics were blown out by the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of their first round playoff series.
As Irving walked to the tunnel with some of his teammates, the plastic water bottle could be seen flying just past him, allegedly grazing him.
Buckley, who was wearing a green Kevin Garnett jersey, was arrested and taken away by Boston Police moments later.
He’s due back in court August 5 for a pre-trial hearing.
“No one should ever throw anything at anyone, fan to fan, fan to player, you’re automatically putting someone in danger when you do that,” Governor Charlie Baker said when asked about the incident Wednesday.
Buckley is also facing a potential lifetime ban from TD Garden.
He’s currently a student at the University of Rhode Island and a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity there. Both are now looking at possible violations.
Around the Garden, fans said a felony charge might be too harsh. “I don’t know if that necessarily is the right thing to do, but I don’t think he should just get off scot-free,” said Ryan Billings from Malden.
“He’s 21-years-old, and this is the land of, what do they say, second chances,” said Sprague Buchanan from Charlestown. “He made a mistake.”
Two other fans were arrested at the Garden that night as well for allegedly assaulting police officers, according to Rollins, and both were arraigned Wednesday. William Lleite, 35, of North Oxford, was arraigned on charges of assault and battery on a police officer and other offenses committed at TD Garden during the same playoff game. Michael Oliver, 23, of Gloucester, was arraigned on a charge of assault and battery on a police officer and other offenses.
Buckley’s next court date is scheduled for August 5; Leite is scheduled to appear on August 18, and Oliver’s next court date is August 23.