Criminal charge against star CFL receiver Greg Ellingson dropped

Photo Scott Grant /
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Following a virtual court appearance, star CFL receiver Greg Ellingson has had a criminal charge dropped.

Ellingson was charged with failing to provide an adequate breath sample into a roadside screening device on Friday, November 30, 2018. That was less than a week after the Ottawa Redblacks lost to Calgary in the Grey Cup.

According to Postmedia reporter Aedan HelmerEllingson will pay a $1,500 fine as part of a guilty plea to careless driving during a 2018 RIDE check after the more serious criminal charge of failing to provide a breath sample was dropped.

With the criminal charge withdrawn, the Crown gave only a brief summary of the facts behind Ellingson’s arrest at 2:37 a.m. on Nov. 30, 2018 at a RIDE checkpoint near the intersection of Carling and Kirkwood avenues.

Officers identified Ellingson at the checkpoint and “they asked him to stop numerous times,” said Assistant Crown Attorney David Elhadad. “He continued driving along both Carling and Kirkwood, one officer had to pursue him on foot and eventually he did stop his vehicle.”

The officers were acting within an “impaired driving operation,” the Crown said, though no impaired driving charges were laid.

The Crown withdrew the criminal charge of failing to provide a breath sample and cancelled Ellingson’s trial dates at an earlier hearing, Elhadad explained, after his defence lawyer “asserted a football injury which may have explained his conduct with the officers.”

The Ottawa police investigation “resulted in a criminal charge which is not proceeding,” Elhadad said, “And so the driving constituted careless driving in the circumstances, with (police) vehicles lit up and with markers throughout the road, etc. That’s roughly what the evidence was.”

After a review, Ellingson was fined an undisclosed amount by the league.

The 31-year-old was coming off his fourth-straight 1,000-yard season with the Redblacks after registering 91 catches for 1,086 yards and five touchdowns. He was also a high-profile face in the community since joining the team for its second season in 2015.