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Rangers' Avery cleared of criminal charges

Sean Avery of the New York Rangers looks

Sean Avery of the New York Rangers looks on against the Washington Capitals in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. (April 17, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Los Angeles city attorney's office says it will not prosecute Sean Avery, the Rangers winger who was arrested and charged with battery on a police officer on Aug. 5.

L.A. city attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan said there was a "decision not to prosecute, based on the evidence" that was in the police report.

Mateljan said all that remains is an informal meeting next month between Avery's lawyer and the city attorney's office.

"The incident was relatively minor," a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said when asked about the city attorney's decision.

Avery could not be reached for comment yesterday and the Rangers would not comment.

Avery had been arrested for allegedly shoving a police officer who responded to a complaint during a loud party at his Hollywood Hills home. According to an LAPD spokesman at the time, Avery exchanged words with officers, shoved one of them and slammed the front door.

TMZ.com reported that further investigation revealed no officer was pushed.

When police returned, the LAPD spokesman said, Avery cooperated and accompanied them to the Hollywood police station, where he was held in custody on a charge of battery of a peace officer, police said. The misdemeanor charge had a potential penalty of a year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.

Avery, 31, had posted $20,000 bail and hired attorney Blair Berk, who has represented Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan and others in the entertainment industry.

A court appearance was set for Sept. 2. Berk said Thursday that it would be "inappropriate" to comment on the city attorney's decision.

Avery is in the final year of his Rangers contract.

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