BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics fan who threw a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving last weekend was released on $500 bail at his arraignment Wednesday.
A plea of not guilty to a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon was entered on behalf of Cole Buckley, 21, of Braintree, in Boston Municipal Court. He was also ordered to stay away from the TD Garden.
The bottle was thrown at Irving, who formerly played for the Celtics, as he walked off the court after Sunday’s 141-126 Nets victory in Game 4 of the the teams’ NBA playoff series. According to the police report, the plastic bottle “grazed” Irving’s head.
Buckley, who was wearing a Kevin Garnett jersey, was arrested seconds later.
Buckley did not respond to reporters’ questions outside of court.
His attorney filed a motion to postpone the arraignment, which was denied.
“It provides for an effective just alternative to a prosecution, particularly in a case like this, where an individual has no criminal record,” attorney Stephen Neyman said.
Buckley is a student at the University of Rhode Island. The matter has been referred to the university’s student conduct process, which could result in sanctions ranging from a warning to suspension, URI spokesperson David Lavallee said in an email.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins, the city’s top prosecutor, attended the hearing and said Buckley engaged in an act of unprovoked workplace violence.
“It is not lost on me that he chose to do this in a sport that is overwhelmingly Black men,” she said. “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 but you don’t get to behave this way.”