Windsor Spitfire Zack Kassian spared criminal record as assault charges are dropped

National Post.

Windsor Spitfire Zack Kassian. Photo Credit: Calgary Herald
Windsor Spitfire Zack Kassian. Photo Credit: Calgary Herald

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WINDSOR, Ont. — Windsor Spitfire Zack Kassian no longer has to worry about a criminal record thwarting his hockey career — assault charges against him were dropped in court Wednesday.

The charge, related to bar fight in downtown Windsor, was withdrawn by the Crown through a negotiated deal, referred to in the courts as “diversion.”

As part of the deal, Kassian had to perform 25 hours of community service, make a $500 donation to charity and pay for the dental work of the man he punched, said his lawyer, Patrick Ducharme.

Windsor police arrested the Spitfire forward just before 2 a.m. on May 30 at The Beach Sports Bar and Grill on Ouellette Avenue. Kassian, 19, didn’t have to spend any time in jail, being released the same day on a promise to appear in court.

Ducharme said a criminal record would have had “serious” implications on Kassian’s career. He was the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round draft pick and a criminal record would have made it difficult for the LaSalle native to cross the border.

“There’s no question that the Buffalo team wanted him record-free,” said Ducharme, in a telephone interview from an out-of-town trial.

A record would also hamper his OHL career — Windsor routinely plays road games in three U.S. cities.

Kassian did not appear in court Wednesday when his charges were withdrawn. The case, handled before a justice of the peace, was dealt with in about one minute.
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