Michael Bryant: Toronto’s Carnell Fitzpatrick

November 19, 2009

The death of Toronto bike messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard is similar to the 1999 murder of Chicago bike messenger Thomas McBride.

Mess Media, November 19, 2009

The case of the road rage killing of Toronto bike messenger, Darcy Allan Sheppard by former attorney general Michael Bryant has many similarities to the murder of another bike messenger, ten years earlier.

Sheppard was killed on August 31, 2009 after Bryant deliberately rammed his car into him knocking Sheppard to the ground. Before mowing Sheppard down, Bryant had threatened him twice by accelerating his car up close to Sheppard and then stopping without hitting him. After the initial attack Bryant attempted to flee the scene on the wrong side of the road with Sheppard holding on to Bryant’s vehicle. Bryant killed Sheppard by smashing him into trees, a mailbox and fire hydrant before driving away.

On the morning of April 26, 1999, Thomas McBride was riding eastbound on West Washington on his way to work as a bike messenger in the Chicago Loop. Witnesses reported a near miss or minor altercation between McBride and the driver of a green 1997 Chevy Tahoe.

The SUV, driven by Carnell Fitzpatrick, cut McBride off after running a stop sign. McBride slammed his hand against the SUV as a means of alerting the driver to his location and that Fitzpatrick was coming perilously close to hitting him. The two exchanged words and Fitzpatrick like Michael Bryant steered his vehicle up close behind the cyclist before accelerating forward to deliberately hit him.

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Michael Bryant’s privileged class and road rage

November 11, 2009

Mess Media, November 11, 2009

On August 31, 2009, former attorney general of Ontario, Michael Bryant, in a fit of road rage intentionally slammed his car into cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard after Sheppard passed his car and pulled to a stop in front of Bryant at a red light in a construction zone.

After Sheppard grabbed on to Bryant’s car, Bryant sped away on the wrong side of the road, and mounted the curb, deliberately smashing Sheppard into a mailbox, fire hydrant and other fixed obstacles, eventually killing him.

Since the attack, many people in the media that knew Michael Bryant have come to his defence. Most of the defence is connected to Bryant’s $600 per hour public relations firm Navigator Ltd. but some others genuinely find it difficult to believe that someone like Bryant could be capable of such a vicious attack. He is educated, prominent and successful.

“And he is never going to commit another crime in his life. Why would you have to put a guy like that in jail?” says criminal lawyer, Robert Rotenberg echoing what many of Bryant’s friends are thinking.

But what kind of person gets carried away by road rage?

In the span of about thirteen months there have been at least three high profile cases of road rage attacks on cyclists. Two of them resulted in critical injuries and one in death. In all three attacks, the perpetrators were from the privileged class – a doctor, a show jumping son of wealthy parents and a former attorney general for Ontario. All three perpetrators deliberately drove their vehicles into their victims and all three seemed to want to punish their victims or teach them a lesson.

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