A 26-year-old London, Ontario, man has been arrested in connection with a racially-charged incident in which a banana peel was thrown at Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason game last week in London.
Police said Chris Moorhouse admitted throwing the banana at Simmonds, who is black. He was charged with engaging in a prohibited activity under the Trespass to Property Act.
Moorhouse, if convicted, could face a fine of up to $2,000. Police Chief Brad Duncan said there was insufficient evidence to charge him with a hate crime.
“This incident affected not only our local community,” Duncan said, “it was across the national and international plane — and obviously individuals have very strong feelings about what occurred and I just wanted to indicate this individual has expressed remorse, notwithstanding the actions that he undertook, but we don't want individuals to go beyond what the court will do in terms of the penalty.”
Through social media, fans had offered a reward of more than $2,000 for information about the prepetrator, who was not immediately caught.
NHL reaction: Banana incident draws shock, anger