On August 31, 2009, former attorney general for Ontario, Michael Bryant, killed cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard in one of the most violent and horrific cases of road rage in Toronto’s history.
Neither Michael Bryant nor his wife, entertainment lawyer Susan Abramovitch, gave statements to police regarding the circumstances that led to Darcy Allan Sheppard’s death. They will have many months to tailor their testimonies to fit the known evidence and weave it seamlessly into a vigorous defense mounted by one of the most elite criminal lawyers in the country.
Bryant’s victim, Darcy Allan Sheppard, who was known as Al to his friends, will not have a voice at the trial. He will not have an opportunity to challenge Michael Bryant’s carefully scripted and rehearsed testimony. He will not have a chance to correct Bryant’s devoted wife and an experienced lawyer when she unconditionally supports her husband of twelve years on the witness stand.
Al’s voice needs to be heard. It’s important that people have an opportunity to understand his life’s last moments. Al could have been any one of us. He just happened to be the cyclist who crossed paths with a driver on the verge of a road rage meltdown.
I have attempted to rebuild those last moments of Al’s life from his point of view. All of the events are based on the factual evidence contained in security camera video, witness statements and news reports. Al’s point of view is also primarily based on the factual evidence as well as my own experiences as a bike messenger and cyclist.
On the evening of Monday August 31, 2009, Al Sheppard was heading home to his apartment at Dupont and Dufferin Streets. His route took him along Bloor Street in front of the trendy blocks of retail stores and boutiques near Bay Street.
At about 9:45 pm, a security camera captured images of a black Saab convertible stopped at a red light on Bloor Street near Bay Street. The car was driven by Michael Bryant. His wife, Susan Abramovitch, sat next to him in the passenger’s seat. The Bryants were on their way home after a night out celebrating their twelfth wedding anniversary.