Ex-Stamp Reynolds released from border cops custody

Former Stampeders running back Joffrey Reynolds is shown seated at the start of a deportation...

Former Stampeders running back Joffrey Reynolds is shown seated at the start of a deportation hearing in Calgary, Alta., July 18, 2012. (JIM WELLS/QMI Agency)

JENNA McMURRAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:32 AM ET

CALGARY - Former football star Joffrey Reynolds has been granted release from custody with several conditions.

At a detention review Wednesday morning, adjudicator Trent Cook of the Immigration and Refugee Board concluded Reynolds was only a “minor” flight risk.

Reynolds, the Calgary Stampeders’ all time leading rusher who was cut from the team in January, was charged Saturday with assault and break and enter in relation to an alleged incident involving an estranged girlfriend.

He was then transferred to the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on unrelated immigration matters.

Reynolds, an American, last entered Canada Jan. 16 and, while he came into the country with a valid work permit, it expired Feb. 15 and was not renewed.

At his detention review Wednesday, CBSA hearing officer Stephanie Mathyk-Pinto argued Reynolds may not show up for removal, adding the ex-CFL player was suffering financial hardships, including the lack of a fixed address.

Reynolds, who represented himself at the review, said he has a friend who offered him a place to stay.

He also said he has better career options — including a possible opportunity to work at a local car dealership — if he stays here.

“Calgary presents to me a far greater opportunity to be a productive person in life,” said Reynolds, insisting he is not a flight risk or a threat to society.

“I don’t want to live my life on the run from immigration. I don’t think I would be that hard of a target to find if I’m on the run from immigration.”

Cook, who said Reynolds’ failure to renew his work permit was likely just an “oversight,” agreed to release the 32-year-old on the conditions he provide an address where he will be living and give border officials at least 48 hours notice if he moves.

Reynolds was also ordered to report to immigration officials twice a month and not work without first obtaining a proper permit.

Reynolds’ friend Michael Annuik, who attended the hearing but wouldn’t confirm if Reynolds will be living with him, said the situation has been “challenging” for everyone involved.

“People make mistakes in their lives and they just have to take ownership of those mistakes and make it right,” said Annuik.

“Deep down, yes he is, I think he’s a very good person.”

Reynolds’ next court date is July 26.

jenna.mcmurray@sunmedia.ca


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