The Lynbrook man accused of stealing a hockey glove from the New York Islanders' bench during the team's final game at Nassau Coliseum told police that he wasn't going to return it -- and planned to display it, according to court records.
Matthew P. Kircheim, 35, told a Nassau County police detective: "I got a glove from the team bench and came out with it. . . . I was gonna put the glove in a glass case as a tribute to one of the best games I've ever been to," according to the criminal complaint against him.
Kircheim pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor theft charge and was released on his own recognizance.
Police and prosecutors said it was taken from the team bench during the Islanders' 3-1 playoff win against the Washington Capitals on April 25.
Kircheim returned the glove to police when he surrendered May 19 at the Third Precinct, said his attorney, Michael Sepe of Rockville Centre. Sepe said his client never refused to return the glove and is a lifelong Islanders fan who became "overzealous."
"It was unclear to him whether he was actually stealing something or taking souvenirs, because the equipment was left there and the players went to the locker room," Sepe said.
With Ellen Yan