Still no answers in disabled cyclist slaying
Michael Sullivan became the city's 10th homicide of 2013 last month
Police still haven’t found the person who hunted down and killed a disabled cyclist on the streets of Hamilton earlier this year, despite having the truck that killed him in their possession for over a month.
“We’re still working on it,” Hamilton police Det. Peter Thom told CBC Hamilton.
Sullivan became the city's 10th homicide of the year when he died at Hamilton General Hospital last month. The incident, and the frightening circumstances of a driver hunting down and deliberately hitting a cyclist in the city, remained secret from the public for almost three months.
Police picked up the black Ford F150 pickup truck they believe was used to chase down Sullivan in October. They do know who the official registered owner is, but that’s not the person who committed the crime, Thom says.
The truck has changed hands “off the books,” numerous times, Thom says, but he wouldn’t say how to many people or to whom. “I can’t comment on that,” he said. Thom also wouldn’t say if police are close to an arrest, saying only that they’ve made “some progress in the case.”
“We’re still working our way through the evidence,” he said.
Sullivan had a disability, and worked from home building or fixing things for other people, his sister Teresa Mummery said at a press conference at police headquarters last month.
"When he worked at home it was always building something for somebody else,” she said. “My brother was in a lot of interactions with a lot of good people. He did computers for underprivileged children, he did bicycles and sent them to countries where they didn’t have them. That’s how he filled his days.”
Investigators from the east end division were originally overseeing the case before the homicide unit took over, and they “made the strategic decision” not to release any information to the public, Thom said.
Though police are asking the public to come forward and help with the case, they will not give a specific suspect description or firm reason as to why they did not disclose the murder until last month, even though it happened back in July.
Sullivan murder stems from when he was riding on his bike in the area of Barton Street East and Lottridge Street back in July.
“While in the vicinity he had a brief interaction with some individuals and continued about his business,” according to a police statement. “This interaction led to some misinformation being passed to the driver of a black, Ford F150 pickup truck.” Police will not specify what that "misinformation" was.
Police say the driver of the truck chased Sullivan through city streets and then pursued him into the rear lot of a Barton Street East restaurant supply store. The truck hit Sullivan and he flew off the bike, police say.
The driver of the truck sped off after hitting Sullivan and was last seen travelling eastbound on Barton Street, police say.
Sullivan was a father who was adored by his two children: Nathan, 27 and Tara, 21, Mummery said.
“He was so proud of them,” she said. “Their father was a caring human being who loved life and always tried to help people in need.
“They cannot imagine why someone would hurt their father.”