NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne faces a Jan. 8 arraignment on a misdemeanor criminal charge of battery and, as of Tuesday, a lawsuit filed by a security guard over a Nov. 16 incident at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In his lawsuit, the guard, Archibald Hutchinson, alleges that he sustained “severe physical injuries” when Kahne shoved him to the ground. Hutchinson had tried to keep Kahne from entering the driver/owner motor home lot without credentials.
“This incident has left Mr. Hutchinson injured not only physically, but emotionally as well,” said Russell Dohan, Hutchinson’s attorney. “He currently is under medical care for his injuries and cannot return to work.”
Hutchinson was taken to the track’s infield care center where he was, according to the arrest affidavit filed by Detective Tony Aquino of the Homestead police, treated “for minor bruises and abrasions.”
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The suit seeks unspecified damages in excess of $15,000.
Kahne drives the No. 9 Dodges for Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Rick Russell, president of that team, issued a statement supporting the driver late Tuesday.
"Gillett Evernham Motorsports is a close family and Kasey Kahne is an integral part of our organization," Russell said.
"The alleged action in this case is not consistent with the Kasey Kahne we know. It is unfortunate the issue has progressed to this point. We support our driver, Kasey Kahne, and have complete confidence in the legal process."
Police were called to gate 208 at the track south of Miami following the incident. Kahne was briefly put in handcuffs at the scene, but was released on his own recognizance and allowed to drive in the season’s final Cup race two days later.
In his statement to the investigating officer, Hutchinson said he and a Monroe County deputy sheriff stopped a golf cart attempting to pass at the gate. Hutchinson said the two men in the cart were told they needed to produce credentials, following specific instructions to check all credentials that he had been given earlier that evening.
“One of the occupants of the vehicle wearing a bright-colored jumpsuit became belligerent and refused to produce ID,” Hutchinson said.
That was Kahne, who had just completed practice for a Busch Series race and was going to his motor home in a cart driven by his brother, Kale, to change clothes.
Hutchinson said Kasey Kahne used profane language and then pushed his brother’s foot off the accelerator pedal of the golf cart, attempting to drive past.
After that did not work, Hutchinson said Kahne got out of the golf cart and “without saying another word shove(d) me with great force from which I landed on my back and left shoulder on the entrance pavement.”
In his statement to Aquino, Kale Kahne said he has reaching for his ID but that his brother didn’t have his because he’d just been in a car on the track.
“He (Kasey) said. ‘I am going to walk to my motor home then,’” Kale Kahne wrote.
“One guard got in front of Kasey and grabbed him and said that you are not going anywhere. ...Kasey pushed his hands off of him. The guard lost balance and fell to the ground.”
Statements from four witnesses, all law enforcement officers, support Hutchinson’s accusations that Kahne was the aggressor.
“Mr. Kahne’s actions were nothing more than bully tactics used by someone who believes his celebrity status makes him immune to the rules the rest of us have to adhere to,” said Dohan, Hutchinson’s attorney.