September 28, 2011
Last Thursday at an exhibition game in London, Ontario, a fan at the John Labatt Centre threw a banana on the ice during a shootout attempt by Wayne Simmonds(notes) of the Philadelphia Flyers. "When you're a black man playing in a predominantly white man's sport, you've got to come to expect things like that," Simmonds said after the game.
Question is: Did Christopher Moorhouse, 26, expect the London police would take him into custody as a suspect connected with the banana-throwing incident? Because that's what happened.
Police Chief Brad Duncan announced Wednesday that Moorhouse "has been charged with engaging in a prohibited activity on a premises under the trespass to property act." It's a provincial statute that could result in a fine of "not more than $2,000."
AM 980 obtained photos of Moorhouse and had a running update of Duncan's presser about the incident — including whether or not this could be classified as a hate crime:
"We took a very, very careful look at the circumstances and in this particular case it did not meet the threshold of a hate crime." said Chief Duncan.
"You have to demonstrate the incident was motivated by hatred - but the circumstances, and the statements that we've received, would not meet that threshold of a hate crime." he continued, also explaining the evidence did not meet the threshold of a mischief charge.
Interesting. More from the London Community News. Moorhouse has expressed remorse according to police, who refuse to say if there's any video evidence of him throwing a banana or information on how he came into possession of said banana or if he had been drinking that evening.
From the London Free Press, a statement from the Flyers:
A statement released JLC Comcast-Spectacor president and Global Spectrum Chairman Peter Luukko expressed gratitude to police, City of London and fans who came forward with information leading to the arrest. "We fully support the efforts to prosecute this individual. We have zero tolerance when it comes to this type of foolish behaviour. We will not tolerate it at the John Labatt Centre nor any of the other facilities we manage," Luukko said.
Sounds like someone's photo will be given to all the ushers at the Labatt Centre ...