BOSTON (WPRI) — A University of Rhode Island student was released on bail and ordered to stay away from TD Garden after throwing a water bottle at NBA star Kyrie Irving.
Cole Buckley, 21 of Braintree, is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for allegedly throwing a water bottle that grazed Irving’s head after the Boston Celtics-Brooklyn Nets Game 4 Sunday.
Buckley pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday and was released on $500 bail. He also faces a potential lifetime ban from TD Garden.
“Imagine if a stranger showed up at your job and threw a water bottle at your head,” District Attorney James Rollins said. “This was an unprovoked act of workplace violence against Kyrie Irving.”
The felony charge comes with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a potential fine of $5,000.
URI spokesperson David Lavallee said the incident has been referred to the “student conduct process.” He could face punishment ranging from a warning to a suspension.
Two other men, identified as William Leite, 35, of North Oxford, and Michael Oliver, 23, of Gloucester, are also facing charges after they were ejected during the game.
Rollins said Leite is accused of trying to start a fight with Nets fans and for assaulting the officer who tried to remove him from the stands.
Oliver, according to Rollins, was also removed from the stadium for unruly behavior, which included getting into a verbal fight with security staff and assaulting an officer.
Like Buckley, both men posted bail and were ordered to stay away from the TD Garden. Leite and Oliver were also told to stay away from the officers they’re accused of assaulting.
“No one who would take these types of actions has any business identifying themselves as fans of the game,” Rollins said. “Purchasing a ticket does not buy you a free pass for obnoxious, racist or assaultive behavior. The cost of admission affords you the privilege of attending the game. The cost of abusing that privilege through criminal behavior is prosecution.”
All three men are due back in court in August.