CFL player that people said had a hand in Toronto Islands attack finally speaks out
Canadian Football League player Chris Larsen and his legal representation have spoken out this week to say that the defensive lineman has been cleared of all involvement in a homophobic attack at Hanlan's Point earlier this month that he was now-famously linked to on social media.
Larsen was suspended from the Ottawa Redblacks shortly after the incident due to the flurry of accounts that he was involved in the violent assault of resident David Gomez on the popular Toronto Islands beach.
It was around 11:30 p.m. on June 5 — during Pride month — that Gomez was accosted and brutally beaten while leaving the area, which is usually considered a safe space for the city's LGBTQ+ community.
According to a GoFundMe that has now raised nearly $50k and counting for the victim, Gomez was rendered unconcious and suffered a concussion along with a broken nose, orbital and cheekbone, and more.
"David and a friend found themselves in danger when they were outnumbered by a group of folks (approx 5+) shouting and hurling homophobic slurs at them until things reached a boiling point, which compelled the attackers to become violent, leaving David incapacitated and in need of serious medical attention," the fundraiser reads.
Redblacks lineman Chris Larsen says he met with Toronto police and his lawyer said he has been cleared as a suspect after his name came up in connection with the June 5 incident after it began making the rounds on social media. - @_JessPatton via @cmcdonaldglobal #CFL #RNation— CFL News (@CFL_News) June 15, 2021
While the aggravated assault was being investigated by police, the Redblacks acknowledged "social media allegations of an assault by a group of individuals that included Chris Larsen" and announced the 25-year-old's suspension from the team on June 9.
Larsen's lawyers then came out on Tuesday to say that he has been formally cleared as a suspect in the case, telling Global News that the next step is contacting the CFL to notify them that he's no longer a person of interest and "at most... may be a witness."
Larsen himself told CTV News the following day that he "happened to be a bystander" on the scene, while his counsel added that on top of having no part in the assault, he was also not among those making homophobic remarks in the lead-up to the attack.
"He didn’t espouse any hate. He didn’t assault anyone. Directly or indirectly," they told reporters.
Chris Larsen, suspended by the @REDBLACKS after being named on social media as a suspect involved in an alleged homophobic attack on June 5th, calls what happened that night “tragic” and says he has no hate. His lawyer says @TorontoPolice have cleared Larsen as a suspect. pic.twitter.com/Abew82Pubx— Catherine McDonald (@cmcdonaldglobal) June 15, 2021
Gomez is now recovering after undergoing surgery for his face, and is, by all reports, still in shock from the obvious trauma of the whole ordeal.
George Hornaday att Hanlan's Point Beach
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