Cops clear CFL player in Hanlan’s Point homophobic attack

Social media posts accused RedBlacks linebacker Chris Larsen in the homophobic beating of 24-year-old David Gomez

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The lawyer for a suspended Ottawa RedBlacks player tells the Toronto Sun his client has been cleared by police in an alleged homophobic assault that left a Toronto man hospitalized.

“He’s just happy that he has cleared his name on all fronts,” said Chris Larsen’s lawyer and former crown prosecutor Calvin Barry in an interview.

Barry said he spoke Tuesday to the detective leading the investigation into the assault, which is being examined as a hate crime.

The lawyer also revealed Larsen, 25, was interrogated by police at 52 Division for over an hour last Friday.

“They interviewed him and came back today and said he is no longer a suspect,” Barry said.

“At most, he might be a witness.”

Word of the alleged homophobic beating on June 5 exploded on social media, with many pointing the finger directly at Larsen.

“He was very saddened by the fact that everybody formed conclusions at the early stages,” Barry said.


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David Gomez, 24, suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized following the alleged assault, which took place near the Hanlan Point ferry docks.

David Gomez, 24
David Gomez, 24 Photo by Handout /GoFundMe

With the social media storm thundering, the Ottawa Redblacks announced they’d be launching an investigation into the allegations.

About 13 and a half hours later, Larsen found himself suspended by the team — a suspension his lawyer says should be quashed.

“We called the CFL, we called his union rep, and we called his manager,” Barry said.

“It looks like he is very likely going to be reinstated.”

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In an email on Tuesday, Redblacks spokesperson Chris Hofley said there’s been no “official change” to Larsen’s status with the team.

The CFL directed the Toronto Sun to the Redblacks for comment.


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Larsen, a 6-foot-3 defensive lineman, is eager to start the season that the League recently announced wold begin Aug. 5.

The allegations made against Larsen in the homophobic assault resulted in Larsen receiving threats, his lawyer said — adding that Larsen was at Hanlan’s Point that evening to celebrate the birthday of a friend who is a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

“He didn’t assault anybody,” Barry said.

Police continue to look for three suspects and are imploring any other witnesses to come forward.

“The moral of the story is that social platforms and twitter, they’re very helpful in a myriad of ways but there can also be a downside,” Barry said.

“He’s kind of exhausted he just wants to move on with his life.”


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