Christopher Moorhouse Charged in Banana-Throwing Incident

By David Strehle
ot Stove Managing Editor

The person alleged to have thrown a banana onto the ice surface at the John Labatt Centre, London, Ontario during last Thursday’s exhibition game between the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers has been arrested.

Simmonds beats Pearce in shootout. (Photo credit: Dave Chidley / Canadian Press)

It was announced today at an 11:45 a.m. press conference that Christopher Moorhouse, 26, has been charged with engaging in a prohibited act under the “Trespass to Property Act”.  If convicted, the maximum fine Moorhouse could face is $2,000.

The section it would appear that authorities charged Moorhouse may be in the “Trespass an offence” portion, under article 2(a).  In subsection (ii), it states ”engages in an activity on premises when the activity is prohibited under this Act.”

The banana was thrown in the path of Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds as he was skating toward the Detroit goal as the first shootout attempt of a tie game.

Simmonds, who is an African-Canadian, kept his wits, dodged the piece of fruit, and incredibly was able to score on Red Wings goalie Jordan Pearce.

After reviewing the incident, London Police Chief Brad Duncan found that the incident did not meet the threshold to be charged as a hate crime.

Duncan asked that the public not engage in any kind of vigilante justice, and to let the situation take the appropriate course through the courts.

Late Thursday night, player agent Scott Norton of Norton Sports had offered a $500 for information that led to the identity of and arrest of the person (or #RacistPig, as Norton has been referring to him on Twitter) responsible for the reprehensible act.  Several fans immediately jumped in and offered to add money to the reward, as well.

Norton was understandably very satisfied with the ultimate fruition of his efforts in a statement given to NHL Hot Stove:

I am very excited that all of my efforts, along with others in London, were successful in providing information which led to the culprits apprehension and ultimate arrest,” the agent said.  ”Shows the good in people, #MMDM (“Make My Day Monday“), and the power of Twitter.” 

It is yet unknown if that reward will be claimed.

Simmonds, who battled with New York Ranger forward Sean Avery on Monday in a skirmish in which Avery accused Simmonds of using a homophobic slur, has to be ready to put the two incidents behind him and concentrate solely on hockey.

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