Former New York Rangers chief Sean Avery is set to begin trial in Manhattan court on Wednesday morning over allegations he used a scooter to hit a car blocking a bike lane a few years ago.
The 42-year-old grisly player was struck with one wrongful count of criminal mischief at the incident back in 2019 – and the case has dragged on ever since.
Avery, who retired from the NHL in 2012, originally said he was going to represent himself in court — against the judge’s advice — but has since hired criminal defense attorney Jason Goldman.
Goldman, a former Brooklyn prosecutor, questioned why the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had not dropped the case against his star client, telling The Post that, “the real focus should be on addressing violent crime in our city.”
“Instead, because of my client’s name, the district attorney’s office is wasting unnecessary resources prosecuting this frivolous, petty case against a man with no criminal history,” Goldman said in a statement Tuesday.
Prosecutors have offered Avery several plea bargains, but he has opted not to take them, instead going to trial.
The case will be a bench trial, which means it will be decided by a judge, not a jury. If convicted, Avery, who now lives in California, faces up to three months behind bars.
Avery – a fierce defender of bike lanes – is accused of bashing the driver’s side door of a car with his scooter on East Eighth Street and Broadway in Greenwich Village on February 23, 2019.
“If I need to be the poster boy to protect bike lanes, I absolutely will,” he told The Post after appearing in court in June 2019. “We should just be able to ride bikes in freedom.”
According to court documents reviewed by The Post, the car he allegedly hit belonged to venture capitalist Jonathan Schulhoff.
According to informed sources, Kimberly Kravis, the wife of Schulhof, a real estate magnate and daughter of billionaire Henry Kravis, was in the vehicle at the time of the incident.
It is unclear whether the two will be in court for the trial, which is expected to last between two and three days.
Reached by The Post for comment on Tuesday, Kravis said, “I have no comment. Have a great night.”
At the time of the alleged incident, Avery was known to frequently block bike lanes with drivers and then post Instagram videos of fights.
The controversial former forward was arrested in 2015 for throwing stones at cars just days before his wedding to model Hilary Rhoda.
Before hanging up the skates, Avery was with the New York Rangers for nearly half of his 10-year NHL career.