Fam­ily awaits jus­tice three years af­ter man chased and run down in al­ley

Michael Sul­li­van suf­fered fatal head in­jury

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MOLLY HAYES mhayes@thes­pec.com 905-526-3214 | @mol­ly­hayes

It has been three years since Michael Sul­li­van was killed by strangers over a mis­un­der­stand­ing — and de­spite a $50,000 po­lice re­ward for in­for­ma­tion, his fam­ily is still wait­ing for an­swers.

“The first year we were lost. The sec­ond year we were sad. The third year we’re mad. We’re an­gry. It’s tak­ing too long for any­one to come for­ward,” his sis­ter, Teresa Mum­mery, said Fri­day.

Sul­li­van, 51, had been on his bike in the Bar­ton Street East and Lot­tridge Street area on July 29, 2013 when he was chased and run down by a black Ford F150 pickup truck in an al­ley, leav­ing him with a head in­jury that led to his death.

Po­lice say the chase oc­curred af­ter a brief in­ter­ac­tion that led to some mis­in­for­ma­tion be­ing passed to the driver of that truck. For three years, they have de­clined to elab­o­rate.

But over the years, the Sul­li­van fam­ily has said they be­lieve it was a vig­i­lante-style killing — that the driver had mis­tak­enly be­lieved Michael was a child mo­lester.

It be­gan with a woman who wrongly thought Sul­li­van was tak­ing cell­phone pho­tos of her young daugh­ter near Bar­ton and Lot­tridge streets.

But Sul­li­van’s mother said he had in fact been tex­ting his grown son and, when ap­proached by the lit­tle girl, had sim­ply pre­tended play­fully to snap her photo.

“(Michael’s) phone doesn’t even have a work­ing cam­era,” his mom, Gail Sul­li­van, said at this time last year.

But the girl’s mother did not know that, Gail said, and she con­fronted Sul­li­van, ac­cus­ing him of snap­ping pic­tures of her daugh­ter with­out per­mis­sion.

A crowd gath­ered and Sul­li­van left on his bi­cy­cle. Some­one called 911, Gail says she was told.

A short time later, a man driv­ing a black Ford F150 pickup truck and armed with this er­ro­neous in­for­ma­tion, be­gan rac­ing along Bar­ton, hunt­ing for Sul­li­van — and even­tu­ally ran him down.

“They took it upon them­selves to (be) judge and jury and kill my brother,” Mum­mery said.

In the years since his death, po­lice have re­leased snip­pets of sur­veil­lance footage show­ing key moments of the deadly chase.

Crime Stop­pers re­leased a re-en­act­ment video in 2014, hop­ing to jog me­mories.

But the case is slowly grow­ing cold.

“In­ves­ti­ga­tors are keen to con­clude this case for the Sul­li­van fam­ily and are con­fi­dent that a small group of in­di­vid­u­als have in­for­ma­tion that will lead to an ar­rest,” po­lice said in a press re­lease Fri­day, ap­peal­ing that those peo­ple come for­ward.

Be­fore head­ing out to a small fam­ily me­mo­rial for Sul­li­van Fri­day, Mum­mery said she is hope­ful this will be the last year his fam­ily will have to wait for an­swers.

“This has to end … it’s just too long, too much,” she said, chok­ing up. “He is a grand­fa­ther of two now, that he never got to meet. Since he was killed, both his chil­dren have had a baby. They’re never go­ing to know their grand­fa­ther.”

Michael Sul­li­van, 51, was on his bike

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