Darcy Sheppard screaming at driver
As we noted in September, the story of Michael Bryant and the Late Darcy Alan Sheppard is complicated. New evidence has come out that shows Sheppard berating a BMW driver a few weeks before his death. The Post says he was yelling "just because you drive a fancy car you think you can drive along the wrong side of the road."
I often have similar thoughts when fancy BMWs are blocking the bike lanes, but I am older, shorter and perhaps a bit calmer. I suspect that all cyclists do when we try and coexist with rich guys in tanks on their cellphones turning right in front of us.
photos from handout
There is no question that Darcy is aggressive with the driver, who according to the Post was
in the oncoming lane to avoid parked delivery vehicles on a small street in Toronto's financial district where couriers gather. At one point, Mr. Sheppard allegedly tried to reach in and grab the keys, hit the driver and grab his earpiece. The man shoved Sheppard out of the car. That led to Sheppard allegedly making threats, spitting on the car, banging on it and jumping up on to it, before the motorist was able to drive away.
The Special Prosecutor, Richard Peck from Vancouver, had lots of evidence that Darcy Sheppard was troubled. From the Post:
Following the widely publicized incident, people came forward with information about six other confrontations Mr. Sheppard allegedly had with drivers. He was not charged criminally in any of them, but Mr. Peck said outside court that the witnesses were credible....The "prior conduct of the deceased" was legally relevant, including his "propensity" for confrontations with drivers, said Mr. Peck. "These facts are not to demonize Mr. Sheppard or for anyone to suggest he somehow deserved his fate," said Mr. Peck.
Michael Bryant, a talented politician whose career was destroyed by this event, but who is still alive and walking free, was conciliatory at a press conference:
"This has turned out to be a tale about addiction, mental health, an independent justice system and a couple out on their wedding anniversary driving home with the top down," Mr. Bryant said.
"It is not a morality play about bikes versus cars, couriers versus drivers, or one about class, privilege or politics. It's just about how in 28 seconds, everything can change."
Darcy Sheppard was a drunk hothead. That made him a little angrier and perhaps more dangerous than every other cyclist on the road that gets cut off by the guy in the fancy car, honked at for no reason, or is in fear of their lives while taking their rightful place on the road. But I suspect that everyone who rides a bike in the city has these thoughts, and both Darcy Sheppard and Michael Bryant are poster children for what happens when you give one mode of transportation such power and dominance.
More on Darcy Sheppard and Michael Bryant:
Former Attorney General in Cyclist/Driver "Altercation"
Toronto Bike Tragedy "The Story None Of Us Can Stop Talking About"
Update on Toronto Cyclist's Death : It Gets Complicated
No Trial for Attorney General Who Killed Cyclist
Cyclists Outraged that Charges Against Attorney General are Dropped