Here’s what we know so far about the attack on a Toronto gay man

A 24-year-old man sustained injuries after an aggravated assault at a popular Toronto LGBTQ2S+ meeting space

UPDATE: Toronto Police have charged two men with aggravated assault in the Hanlan’s Point case.

Police say that on June 19, officers had arrested and subsequently charged 24-year-old Elijah McGibbon in Toronto in connection with the case. McGibbon is scheduled to appear at court at Old City Hall on July 26, 2021.

And on June 23, police released another statement noting that 24-year-old Felix Tauveron of Toronto had been arrested and charged with aggravated assault after he turned himself in at 52 Division. Tauveron is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and they are still seeking more information and witnesses.

A police spokesperson says a decision about whether to treat the assault as a hate crime would be made if the accused are found guilty.

“With any case, considering hate motivation as an aggravating factor is done at the time of sentencing,” wrote Meaghan Gray, manager of corporate communications for the Toronto Police Service, in an email to Xtra. “It’s at that time that any evidence the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate would be reviewed.”

Social media posts following the assault alleged the involvement of Canadian Football League player Chris Larsen. On June 16, his lawyer claimed police had cleared Larsen of involvement.

Calvin Barry said Larsen had voluntarily agreed to be interviewed by police, after which, according to Barry, Larsen was told by police he was no longer considered a suspect.

Police have made no comment on Larsen’s involvement. 

An assault on a gay man near Toronto Island’s Hanlan’s Point on Saturday night left him requiring surgery for multiple injuries, and is being treated as a potential hate crime by police. A Canadian Football League player accused of being involved in the attack has been suspended by his team.

According to a police report, a 24-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were walking to the ferry docks on Toronto Island at 11:30 p.m. on June 5 when they encountered another group. Members of that group allegedly made homophobic comments and a female member of the group grabbed one of the victims. At that point, “Two men from the group assaulted the 24-year-old man by punching and kicking him, leaving him with significant injuries,” the police report states.

The man—whose identity is being protected by Xtra until he has offered explicit permission to be identifiedposted an account of the attack on social media on Sunday. “Last night on my way home from the beach, a group of men decided to poke some fun at me by following me around and calling me ‘faggot’ and ‘homo.’ Subsequently, I was knocked unconscious and beat nearly to death…. I was dragged around, kicked and punched in the face. I now have a broken nose with a shattered face, multiple lacerations across my body, a broken tooth. Oh and I also have a slight fracture on my hip…. all thanks to those strangers.”


A GoFundMe page started by a friend of the victim added that he required surgery after the attack “left [him] unconscious for some time, and he awoke to find out his nose had been broken, cheekbone and orbital bone shattered, a splint in his hip bone and a concussion.”

Hanlan’s Point, where the assault occurred, has long been a popular meeting space for Toronto’s LGBTQ2S+ community. The city’s first-ever unofficial Pride celebration was held on the beach in 1971. 

“The victim required surgery after the attack ‘left [him] unconscious for some time.’”

Reports on social media subsequently claimed one of the assailants was Chris Larsen, a 25-year-old defensive lineman with the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League. While police have not yet publicly identified any suspects, the Redblacks suspended Larsen on Wednesday night and announced their own investigation.

Mark Goudie, the CEO of Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which owns the team, issued a subsequent statement on the team website.

“Diversity and inclusion are central to our organizational values and we will try our best to use our platform to help make acts of hate and violence, including homophobia, stop,” he wrote. “We recognize there are larger systemic issues that plague our society, and as an organization, we know that we can play a role in making our community a more tolerant, respectful, educated and inclusive place.

“We are particularly sorry for the trauma caused to the 2SLGBTQ+ community.”

Pride Toronto also issued a statement after news of the attack broke. “We wish the victim a speedy recovery and to show him that Pride Toronto and the 2SLGBTQ+ Community are with him,” said the statement on Instagram. “These kinds of attacks highlight why it is important that Pride Toronto brings awareness of homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, in our community. It is heartbreaking to hear this happened during Pride Month—an attack on one is an attack on all.”

The police report issued descriptions of three suspects. “The first suspect is described as a man, Black, 25-32 years old, 6’4”, 220 lbs, muscular build, with dreadlocks and had a bicycle with him. The second suspect is described as a man, white, thin build, 5’6”, and possibly had dreadlocks. The third suspect is described as a woman, white, 22-28 years old, 5’5”, 180 lbs, with long blonde hair.” 

The police report also stated that the force’s Hate Crime Unit has been notified. “We want to assure everyone that our investigators are working hard to determine if this was a hate crime,” the report reads.

“The police report also stated that the force’s Hate Crime Unit has been notified.”

The GoFundMe page is looking to “raise funds for therapy, legal fees, school fees, and any additional medical bills (e.g. pain medication, supplementary health fees like dental… he also has a chipped tooth) throughout his journey through healing and restitution.” The goal for the page was $40,000. As of Friday morning, the page had raised more than $46,000.

Xtra will continue to update this story as more details emerge.

Anyone who witnessed the attack or has video of the assault should contact Detective Constable Lauren Hassard 9854 at 52 Division by emailing Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, online on the Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). You can also download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes or Google Play.

Krishna Rau

Krishna Rau is a Toronto-based freelance writer with extensive experience covering queer issues.

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