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Man, 24, charged in alleged hate-motivated assault at Hanlan’s Point

Last Updated Jun 19, 2021 at 3:10 pm EDT

Sign welcoming visitors to Hanlan's Point on the Toronto Islands. CITYNEWS
Summary

Police said a man was assaulted by a group of people after they allegedly made homophobic comments on June 5


A 24-year-old man has been charged with Aggravated Assault in connection to the investigation, police said


"This is a complex case and we still encourage witnesses to come forward," said Det. Const. Lauren Hassard


Toronto police say they have arrested and charged a man in connection to an alleged hate-motivated assault at Hanlan’s Point earlier this month.

Police said on June 5th at around 11:30 p.m., a man was assaulted by a group of people after they allegedly made homophobic comments towards him and the woman he was with while walking to the ferry docks.

In a social media post prefaced with a sarcastic “Happy Pride,” David Gomez said he was on his way home from the park when a group of men starting following him and calling him a “f****t and h**o.”

Gomez said he was then “knocked unconscious and beat nearly to death” while being “dragged around, kicked and punched in the face.”

He said he suffered a broken nose, fractures to his face, a broken tooth and other injuries in the attack. CityNews spoke with a friend of Gomez’s who says he has since undergone surgery and is currently recovering.

On Saturday, police said they arrested and charged 24-year-old Elijah McGibbon with Aggravated Assault.

McGibbon is scheduled to appear in court on July 26th, police said.

Police said on Saturday they are still investigating the incident and are asking the public’s come forward with any information they may have.

“I want to make it clear that while we have successfully charged someone for their alleged involvement in this assault, our investigation does not stop here,” said Det. Const. Lauren Hassard. “This is a complex case and we still encourage witnesses to come forward.”

Hassard said they are looking to speak with two women that were in the area at the time. They’re described as being in their 20s and both had brown hair.

The police probe previously prompted the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Redblacks to suspend one of its defensive lineman over suspected involvement in the case, but the player’s lawyer has said the man has since been cleared after speaking to investigators.

 

With files from Erick Espinosa and the Canadian Press