09-02-2009, 09:45 AM #1Former Member
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- Mar 2009
Canada - Darcy Sheppard, 33, killed in road rage incident, Toronto, 31 Aug 2009
Former Ontario AG Bryant charged in cyclist's death
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | 10:13 PM ET
Bryant was first elected as the Liberal MPP for St. Paul's in 1999 and won re-election in 2003 — becoming the province's youngest-ever attorney general at the time — and again in 2007. He also served as aboriginal affairs minister and minister of economic development.
Bryant is a Harvard-trained lawyer who clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada and later taught law at the University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall and King's College, London. His wife is also a lawyer. They have two children.
The man once touted as a future premier of Canada's largest province is now facing charges involving the death of a cyclist on one of Toronto's busiest streets.
"Michael James Bryant, 43 years of age, of Toronto, is now charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death," said Toronto police Sgt. Tim Burrows at an impromptu news conference outside the headquarters of the force's traffic division.
The cyclist has been identified as Darcy Allan Sheppard, 33, of Toronto. A former attorney general of Ontario, Bryant was released under unspecified conditions on his own recognizance. Burrows said Bryant had "absolutely not" received any preferential treatment.
Bryant will make a court appearance on Oct. 19 in the case. Criminal negligence causing death carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, while dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death has a maximum penalty of 14 years behind bars.
The Globe and Mail reported that the cyclist involved in the collision had been drinking, and had been investigated by police earlier in the evening when an ex-girlfriend called police. The Globe said the man was not charged in connection with the drinking.
Bryant was an Ontario cabinet minister until May of this year when he stepped down to take the job as president and CEO of Invest Toronto, an arm's-length agency set up by the City of Toronto to promote investment. Until then, the man who became the youngest attorney general in Ontario history had been frequently mentioned as a possible successor to Premier Dalton McGuinty as leader of the province's Liberals.
But Bryant's future is unclear following the death of a cyclist on Bloor Street West near Bay Street on Monday night.
According to police, Bryant was driving his black Saab convertible at about 9:45 p.m. when he and the cyclist became involved in an altercation.
Police said the incident quickly escalated.
Citing an unnamed police source, Canadian Press reported that on the evening of the incident, Bryant was out with his wife, Susan Abramovitch, for dinner to mark their 12th anniversary.
Michael Bryant issues condolences
Let me ask for your understanding in not making a statement today on last night's tragic events. At an appropriate moment I will, of course, speak to you.
I would, however, like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Sheppard.
To all those who have offered support to my family over the past 12 hours, thank you.
May I ask that the media continue to respect my family's need for distance and privacy for the next few days.
— Issued Tuesday at a news conference in Toronto
"There was some sort of altercation between the two people involved in this investigation, which has ended in, unfortunately, the death of a cyclist," Burrows said.
Burrows described what led to Sheppard's death as a "minor collision" involving the bicycle and the Saab.
"The cyclist ended up on the side of the car, holding on, and the driver continued along, driving westbound on Bloor Street." Witnesses said Bryant crossed lanes of traffic to the south side of Bloor Street, still heading west.
Burrows could not explain why Bryant allegedly drove onto the curb. "I don't want to try to say why [he] did that, only [he] knows exactly why, but he was travelling westbound in the eastbound lanes," he said. A number of witnesses have come forward, police said, and investigators want anyone else who saw anything to contact them.
"We had seven witnesses that identified themselves to police last night, having seen the events that transpired. As in any investigation, however, the more witnesses we have, the better," Burrows said.
The witnesses said it appeared as though Bryant was attempting to knock Sheppard off the car by brushing against trees and mailboxes on Bloor Street approaching Avenue Road. Burrows said Sheppard was "essentially a pedestrian," having left his bicycle.
Police said Sheppard sustained severe injuries after striking a mailbox and a tree while still hanging on to the car. He was dragged and then run over by the car's rear wheels.
Sheppard was rushed to Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Other evidence police have collected includes security camera images from stores along one of Toronto's wealthiest business strips.
Read the rest here:
Last edited by Turbododger; 09-02-2009 at 10:08 AM.
09-02-2009, 09:51 AM #2Former Member
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- Mar 2009
Toronto mayor refuses comment on Bryant
Toronto Mayor David Miller had little to say on Tuesday about the legal predicament facing his new head of Invest Toronto, Michael Bryant.
On Tuesday morning Miller's office released a brief statement expressing his "sincere condolences to the family and friends of the cyclist who died [Monday] night following an incident in the Yorkville area."
The statement went on to say that since "this is an active police investigation, I will not be making any further comment on this tragedy today."
Darcy Allan Sheppard, 33, was killed Monday night in Toronto. (Facebook)
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was asked for his reaction at a Queen's Park news conference.
"It's just very sad, very tragic, how events that unfold inside a minute can have such a profound impact on people's lives, negative impact," McGuinty told reporters.
In May, Bryant shocked the provincial political establishment by stepping down as economic development minister in the Liberal government to take the job as president and CEO of Invest Toronto.
The move was criticized by some at Queen's Park who said he was jumping ship while his ministry was intimately involved in determining the fate of Ontario's auto industry. Bryant had been front and centre in the negotiations to help bail out troubled automakers.
At the time, he said he couldn't resist the opportunity to become the economic czar for the country's largest city.
Bryant took up his new duties in June.
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09-02-2009, 10:03 AM #3Former Member
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- Mar 2009
A cyclist dead, a political star tarnished
A rising political star once touted as a future premier, former Ontario attorney-general Michael Bryant now faces a pair of serious criminal charges after a Monday night collision in which a bike courier was killed
Mr. Sheppard was fatally injured after he fell from a car allegedly driven by Mr. Bryant, 43.
Mr. Sheppard had grabbed on to the outside of the open-top convertible during an argument.
Now Mr. Sheppard’s family and friends are coping with his death, while Mr. Bryant is charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
Ontario has called in an out-of-province prosecutor in an effort to prevent any perception of preferential treatment for Mr. Bryant, who left the provincial government three months ago.
Clad in a suit and striped tie picked up by a friend from his home, the Harvard-educated lawyer Tuesday read a brief prepared statement.
His lawyer, Andrew Evangelista, said he had nothing to add to Mr. Bryant’s remarks.
Navigator Limited senior partner Robin Sears confirmed Mr. Bryant had retained the top-tier communications firm. He said Mr. Bryant will speak publicly again in the coming days.
09-02-2009, 02:58 PM #4Former Member
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- Mar 2009
Bryant leaves helm of Invest Toronto after cyclist dies
Former Ontario AG says he's innocent of charges laid in courier's death:
Former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant announced his resignation as CEO of Invest Toronto Wednesday, a day after criminal charges were laid against him in the death of a bicycle courier.
On Tuesday, Bryant was charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death in the wake of an alleged confrontation with courier Darcy Allan Sheppard Monday night.
Sheppard, 33, died of head injuries sustained after he was dragged along a stretch of Toronto's Bloor Street.
As he offered his resignation Wednesday, Bryant said in a statement that he's innocent of the accusations against him.
"Let me be clear: I am innocent of the very serious accusations made against me," Bryant said in a letter written to Toronto Mayor David Miller.
"I do not believe, however, that I can continue in this position on account of the circumstances of the past two days."
Bryant was appointed last May to head Invest Toronto, the city's new business development agency tasked with promoting the city to investors.
Miller issued his own statement a short time after Bryant's statement was released to the media, saying he accepts Bryant's resignation. He also called the events of Monday night "tragic and sad on many levels."
Last edited by Turbododger; 09-02-2009 at 04:43 PM.
09-02-2009, 04:00 PM #5
How horrific!! This sounds as if this is a road-rage murder, but I can tell you on the best of days cycling in Toronto is very dangerous. I used to commute to work by cycling and I was hit 3 times - once by a drunk driver in the middle of the afternoon. (I was lucky that I never had any serious injuries). After the 3rd hit, I packed it in.
Some couriers do weave in and out of traffic, go up on sidewalks and cut off cars, but for the most part all of us cyclists respect the rules and cycle defensively.
Bryant offered his resignation, but said that he's innocent? Why resign? Why not fight the charges?
09-02-2009, 04:37 PM #6
Why would the guy be hanging on the side of the car? If he was he also seems to be at fault.
09-02-2009, 04:41 PM #7Former Member
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- Mar 2009
The video and witnesses will tell the story.
There is a story.
There was damage to the bike.
Why didn't the lawyer simply stop?
09-02-2009, 04:47 PM #8Former Member
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- Mar 2009
Cyclist may have grabbed Bryant, wheel: police
Police had encounter with cyclist before fatal incident on downtown Toronto street
Toronto police are investigating whether a cyclist killed in an altercation with a car driven by former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant grabbed the driver or the wheel.
Police also confirmed on Wednesday that Darcy Allan Sheppard, a 33-year-old bike courier, had an encounter with Toronto police hours before he died.
......Witnesses reported that Sheppard left his bike after the collision and somehow hung on to Bryant's car. Bryant allegedly yelled at Sheppard to get off the car as it moved along Bloor Street.
TIMELINE: Michael Bryant
Monday 9:45 p.m.: Michael Bryant becomes involved in an alleged altercation with cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard, 33, while driving his Saab convertible on downtown Toronto's Bloor Street. Police say Sheppard then grabbed on to the side of Bryant's car as it drove off, fell and suffered fatal injuries.
Monday 11:30 p.m.: Bryant is taken into police custody.
Tuesday 2:20 p.m.: In a statement to reporters, Bryant expresses his "deepest condolences" to Sheppard's family but declines to discuss the incident and asks for his privacy. He also thanks those who contacted his family to offer their support.
Tuesday 2:30 p.m.: Bryant is charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
Wednesday 1:10 p.m.: Toronto Mayor David Miller accepts Bryant's resignation as CEO of Invest Toronto, the city's business development agency.
09-02-2009, 04:50 PM #9Former Member
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- Mar 2009
Memorial planned for cyclist killed in Bryant altercation
Motorists in Toronto will face another disruption on a major downtown street later Wednesday, part of the aftermath of a fatal encounter between a bike courier and former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant.
A memorial ride for Darcy Allen Sheppard is planned for around 5 p.m. ET along Bloor Street between Bay Street and Avenue Road. On Tuesday, cyclists set down their bikes in the same area in a show of solidarity.
In a release, the Toronto Cyclists union said the case is "yet another painfully clear example of the need to better incorporate bikes/cyclists into our transportation network, to better educate all Torontonians about the fact that cyclists have a right to be on the roads, and that we have a responsibility to share this public space, and have more respect for our fellow citizens, cyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike."
The road may have to be closed if the riders take over the street, police said.
The ride comes one day after some 100 bicycle riders staged a brief impromptu protest near the site of the collision by laying down their bicycles on Bloor Street, blocking it off.
09-03-2009, 12:34 PM #10Former Member
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- Nov 2004
I have a pretty good idea how this is going to play out:
1) Blame the victim
2) Tarnish the victim because.....he is of course not "one ot them" as in a high powered, Harvard educated, Deer Park resident,driving a SAAB, the "victim" did not have power, money and a huge ego.
3) Make sure everyone knows of the "history" of the victim, who grew up in Foster Homes, has never meet his 5 year old son, substance abuse.
4) The rich and powerful "have this fear of the poor and unwashed general population. The rich "believe" this to be true, so what a person "believes" will be paramount. You can bet that the rich and powerful will stand by Michael.
5) Michael Bryant will come out of this with his reputation (tattered a bit) and life. Something the victim will never have......his life back again..
Again, why did he not just stop. Well I was afraid, he will say. That "crazy" person on a bike.
I put money on the very expensive and high powered defense already "planning" on how Michael Bryant will come out of this looking like "he is the victim of this "horrible" person who died.
You know riding a bike in TO is like playing Russian Routlettte, but the weapon is a car.......
Drivers need to share the road, not make "road" kill out of other people's family members.
What Michael did was "like out of a movie" with him driving on the wrong side of the road, up on the sidewalk, knocking down trees, serving to knock the victim "off the car" with the "victim" eventually falling off and being run over......
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