Top Canadian politician kills cyclist in road rage

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS,

Toronto : A top Canadian politician who served as Ontario’s attorney general faces murder charges for killing a cyclist in the heart of Toronto Monday night.

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Forty-three-old Michael Bryant, who became the youngest attorney general – equivalent to home minister in India – of Canada’s most powerful province of Ontario with Toronto as its capital, was Tuesday charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving.

Bryant, who quit his high-profile job in May to join as the CEO of Invest Toronto to attract investment into Canada’s largest city, made his mark as attorney general by cracking down on drunk driving, street racing and banning pit bull terriers.

But Monday night the young politician was on the other side of law for killing 33-year-old cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard in what has been described as “road rage” in the commercial heart of Toronto.

The former attorney general, who was driving his Saab convertible in the congested traffic, and the cyclist reportedly

bumped into each other. After the collision the cyclist lunged at the driver, leading to exchange of words.

As the politician tried to drive away, the cyclist grabbed the side of the car and was dragged along.

“What I saw was the car speeding up the wrong side of the road, with the injured man on the driver’s side of the car holding on as tight as he could,” an eyewitnesses told a local TV channel.

“And then the driver of the car pushing up against the curb, trying to knock him off on the poles as he went down the opposite side of the road,” the eyewitness said.

Police said the cyclist didn’t let go of the politician’s car till he was hit a mailbox on the roadside and then run over by back tires of the car.

The former attorney general stopped his car a short distance as paramedics arrived to take the injured cyclist to hospital where he was declared dead.

The 33-year-old victim worked as a bike courier in the city.

The former top law minister spent the night in police custody. He was produced in court Tuesday and formally charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death.

He will appear in court again Oct 9.