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Man attacked in alleged gaybashing on Church Street

Toronto police investigating after victim requires stitches, hospitalization

The parking lot between O'Grady's and Crews and Tangos on Church Street where Mathieu Warren was allegedly gaybashed on Sept 10. Credit: Andrew Jacome

Toronto police are investigating an alleged gaybashing on Church Street late last week.

Mathieu Warren was walking on Church Street on Sept 10 just after 5pm, past the parking lot that separates Crews and Tangos, a drag nightclub, and O’Grady’s pub when, he says, his umbrella accidentally hit a woman who was walking in the opposite direction.

“I said, ‘excuse me, sorry,’” Warren says. “And then she turned around and said, ‘you fucking faggot.’”

Warren, who was shocked by the exchange, says he responded to her by saying, “excuse me.” 

“Then next thing you know I had a punch in my face,” he alleges.

He says he tried to push her off, but in doing so ripped her shirt. As a result, her friends joined the fray. Warren alleges they also called him a batty boy — a Caribbean slur for gay men.

Several witnesses interviewed by Xtra gave conflicting answers about the number and gender of people who allegedly attacked Warren, but agreed that he was beaten by a group of people who, once bystanders became aware what was happening, fled south on Church Street.

Though the detective assigned to the case was not available to comment, Constable Victor Kwong with Toronto Police Service (TPS) corporate communications confirms that police were dispatched to O’Grady’s at 5:38pm on Sept 10. Their records indicate that there were three suspects involved in an incident that is now being investigated as a case of assault causing bodily harm.

They have yet to release descriptions of the suspects, but Kwong says police have looked at surveillance tape footage from nearby Freshmart that may have captured one or more of the suspects leaving the premises just prior to the alleged incident. TPS is not releasing the footage at this time.

Two bystanders assisted Warren and called police and an ambulance. Warren says he was transported to Toronto Western Hospital where he was treated for bruising and given seven stitches for a cut under his eyes. In pictures Warren provided to Xtra taken after the incident, his face is swollen and clearly shows at least one laceration.

“I’m very bruised, I’m in a lot of pain,” Warren says.