Hope for Michael Bryant? Judge acquits motorist of assaulting cyclist in 2007 altercation
The case bears many resemblances to an altercation a few years earlier in another part of downtown. In May, 2007, Darius Tierman, a Toronto police officer on medical leave, was caught on tape attacking a cyclist after an argument on Queen Street. But, in a decision that escaped public attention last December, an Ontario judge found Mr. Tierman not guilty of assault, despite video showing him punching the cyclist three times.
Justice John Ritchie said in his decision that Mr. Tierman was defending himself and his vehicle from the cyclist, who was going to use his bike as a weapon. Pursuant to Section 27 of the Criminal Code, the defendant was justified in using force to prevent the attack.
“The issue, in my mind, is whether the defendant used excessive force,” Justice Ritchie wrote. “…It is my conclusion that the force used was not excessive in all of the circumstances.”
While the Tierman and Bryant cases are different – both in scope and outcome – the two share several similarities.