"The person that we have [in custody] is merely under investigation. There have been no formal charges laid," said Toronto police spokesman Sgt. Tim Burrows.Michael Bryant sits in the back of a Toronto police cruiser. (Tony Smyth/CBC)
Police will not confirm that Bryant was the driver of a car involved in the incident. nor would they say if charges are pending.
But they have told CBC News that homicide detectives have been called in to investigate because of the "complex nature" of the incident, which began near the corner of Bloor Street West and Bay Street at about 9:45 p.m. ET on Monday night.
"There was some sort of altercation between the two people involved in this investigation, which has ended in, unfortunately, the death of a cyclist," said Burrows.
In an interview with CBC News, Sgt. Tim Burrows described what led to the cyclist's death as a "minor collision" between the bicycle and a black Saab.
"The cyclist ended up on the side of the car, holding on, and the driver continued along, driving westbound on Bloor Street [West]."
Burrows could not explain why the driver crossed lanes of traffic and drove up onto the curb.
"I don't want to try to say why the driver did that, only the driver knows exactly why he was, but he was travelling westbound in the eastbound lanes," he said.
Police forensic identification services have been asked to check for evidence.
A number of witnesses have come forward, police say, but they want anyone 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," said Burrows.Damage is visible on the Saab allegedly involved in the incident. (Tony Smyth/CBC)
The witnesses said it appeared as though the driver was attempting to knock the cyclist off by brushing against trees and mailboxes on Bloor Street, approaching Avenue Road.
Police said the cyclist sustained severe injuries after striking a mailbox and a tree while still hanging onto the car.
Witnesses said the 33-year-old cyclist, who has not been identified, fell off, was dragged and then run over by the rear wheels of the vehicle.
He was rushed to Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital but died of severe head injuries, according to police.
The cyclist was pronounced dead shortly after 11 p.m., police said.
Other evidence includes security camera images from stores along a stretch of one of Toronto's wealthiest business strips.
"We actually have viewed two videos that were provided to us by two different businesses along Bloor Street. We have officers right now on Bloor Street canvassing some of the other stores ... to see if they have any video that their systems may have captured," said Burrows.
Police said several 911 calls were made during the incident. One call came from the driver of the vehicle.
Police spotted the suspect car after it pulled into into the nearby Hyatt Hotel. Bryant was later seen in the back of a police cruiser.
Bryant, now 43, 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 in 2007. He also served as aboriginal affairs minister and minister of economic development.
Bryant resigned from politics in May this year to become president and CEO of Invest Toronto, chaired by Toronto's mayor.
A byelection to replace Bryant as MPP for the riding of St. Paul's is scheduled for Sept. 17.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
The CBC went crazy with censorship on this story. Out of 10 posts submitted, ONE made it. Many other posts were pulled or were no longer to be found, it appears they had been removed for one reason or another, reasons that the CBC did not share with readers.
Over the last few years, Bryant has shown a change in personality. He conduct
was enough to raise eyebrows and to have him booted from politics. He was simply
incapable of being the AG any longer and he had to go.
All those semi bizarre behaviours show someone who is flying high one minute, in absolute belief of his own self confidence and in some other world devoid of recognition of just how badly he shot his mouth off.
You might even call it the sort of behaviour associated with being bi-polar, and IF that is what is later concluded, it will beg questions about how and why mental health problems are treated as a Taboo subject. Its society's failure to deal with mental health problems when they first become apparent, that frequently results in a trail of destruction, if not criminal behaviour.
The Toronto Police seem to be taking a very very very long time before deciding if to lay charges, or release him.
Bryant is firstly a lawyer, and one thing is for certain, he will not qualify for legal aid and Bryant will be able to afford the best there is which may have something to do with the incredible time delay in laying charges or releasing him. The Toronto police, are unlikely to release him without charge, its the decision on Which Charge that will become a focus of attention.
Anything less than murder will not be particularly well received but, what do you expect with a former politician and Attorney General of the present government run by lawyers for lawyers.
Lets hope that the actions of the Toronto Police and the Attorney General of Ontario will be watched very carefully -
When the trial is over, Michael Bryant can look forward to being one of the
most sought after jail house lawyers around. Not only is he an experienced
lawyer, he comes with all the right connections that will ensure his jail
canteen account will never run dry.
When and IF , Mr. Bryant gets to see inside of a jail, he will meet thousands upon thousands of innocent men, in jail for failing to pay child support, child support based on fictitious incomes that never existed or support that father's could not pay due to unemployment and simply not having enough money to afford a lawyer.
Mr. Bryant has turned a blind eye to Ontario's policy of Male Gender Apartheid and IF, he gets to spend some time in jail, hopefully he will learn some of the realities of just how dysfunctional Ontario Justice really is.
at 10:57 AM ET
It brings the administration of justice, into "ill-repute", when there is
such a very long delay in the laying of charges.
The Toronto Police and Mr. Bryant have been buddies on the same team for a long time. Mr. Bryant was and is "one of them". They are buddies going back a long way.
Back in 1971, a Constable Joe Harwood of Timmins "found" his wife strangled. The police at that time were also "looking for witnesses".
There is a big difference between Timmins and Toronto , 1971 and 2009. In Timmins, being a witness against the local police was and is not a very good idea. In DownTown Toronto, there were just too-many witnesses.
Now, it appears that the Police are "still looking". Wow, maybee they have not heard the right story yet?
It has all the signs and symptoms of a police force "looking for the right witnesses", ones who will tell the story that the Toronto Police "want to hear".
The longer the delay in the laying of charges, the more justice is denied and the greater the insult to intelligence of Canadians.
Don't expect justice in this case.
Michael Bryant's actions are a disturbing
demonstration of his arrogance under stress and a confrontation. He knew he was
going to kill a man , driving in that manner designed to smash the man's head
and body into pulp against posts and mailboxs etc.
There is little difference if Mr. Bryant had kicked him to death with his feet or did it with his car, except, a car is a deadly weapon, and Mr. Bryant used a weapon to kill a man in a classic example of extreme road rage.
Mr. Bryant's behaviours have are also the symptoms of an underlying mental health problem and or a personality disorder that he won't be using as a defense.
No doubt, the Toronto Police went on a hell of a fishing expedition, and found some witnesses that will help out Mr. Bryant's defense.
Only time will tell exactly how much effort the Toronto Police went to in trying to get their buddy out of a tight spot.
Our premier's comments that everyone has a right to justice in Ontario are also sickening to listen to.
Ontario is a province where injustice reigns, justice is given to those with money and denied to those without.
Our entire Ontario Legal System is designed to penalize the poor and reward the criminal actions of the rich.
Such is the injustice of Ontario.