April 27, 2011
Former NHLer arrested in road rage incident
By BILL KAUFMANN, QMI Agency
Former Flames enforcer Shane Churla could face jail time after being charged in a road rage incident in Wisconsin.
Churla has been charged with criminal damage after allegedly punching and kicking another motorist’s car in Eau Claire, WI. April 20.
Complainant Jason Statz said he swerved and stopped to avoid an object in a road in the northwest part of the city, blocking the way of a Jeep he said was driven by Churla, 45, a Flames tough guy from 1987-89.
That encounter led to an altercation, said Officer Jason Kaveney of Eau Claire police.
“It resulted in an argument between the two drivers, words were exchanged ... the report indicates Churla was arrested as a result of him kicking the driver’s door, causing a dent,” said Kaveney.
Statz also claimed Churla threw a drink or some other object at his 2003 four-door BMW, which he says sustained $3,800 damage in the encounter.
“We’d classify it as road rage,” said Kaveney.
Statz, 26, reportedly led police to Churla, who was picked up in a traffic stop in northeast Eau Claire, said Kaveney.
Churla, who’s now a scout for the NHL’s Dallas Stars, also played for that team, the New York Rangers, Hartford and Los Angeles.
He logged 2,301 penalty minutes and is well-known for receiving a wicked hit from Vancouver Canuck Pavel Bure in the 1994 playoffs dubbed by hockey analyst Don Cherry as the “mother of all elbows.”
The ex-NHLer — who retired from competition in 1997 — had a preliminary hearing on April 21 and is to appear in court June 6.
He was released on a $200 bond.
If guilty, he could be handed a $10,000 fine or nine months in jail.