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Crow's Nest: Troubling Questions Surrounding Matt Howard

Karen Johns for local2 sault ste. marie
September 29th, 2012 at 5:59pm



This article is a column or editorial.
The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of LOCAL2.

CROWS NEST HEADLINE NEWThere were many troubling questions surrounding the car accident that took the life of Matt Howard in February of 2010.

Howard was killed when Joseph Biocchi struck the young man with his car as Howard and his girlfriend were walking on Queen St East .

Perhaps the most troubling of all was the fact that the police officers on duty that night, failed to ask for a breath sample from Biocchi even though he told the police he had been across the river with friends but had only had a beer .



*Matt’s mother Pat Nisbet is appealing the decision of police tribunal hearing officer Terrence Kelly , after the allegations of neglect of duty filed against four officers: Art Pluss, Joe Trudeau, Darren Sirie and William Freemman, were dismissed. The tribunal found that there were no grounds for police to demand a breath sample from Biocchi after he had caused the death of Howard.*



It’s unbelievable that Biocchi was not asked to give a breath sample to police.

*He was originally charged with careless driving and failing to drive in a marked lane but those charges were dismissed because of a lack of evidence to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.*



I am outraged that Howard’s mother even has to appeal the decision! There were so many things that were wrong about the handling of this case. Why would the police move Biocchi’s car after the accident? What was Biocchi doing during the time between when Matt was killed and the time he returned to the scene after having left the scene the first time?



No cell phone records ( at least none that the public was privy to) and the statement in which Biocchi said he didn`t realize that he had hit and killed Howard.



When it was revealed that Biocchi was related to a police officer, most people were suspicious. (I`d bet that a lot of other police officers¸who were not involved with the whole thing were suspicious too)

I `m sure that anyone who has been involved in a car accident would be required to give a breath sample, if they told the police that they only had ``a beer or two``, and especially if they had killed someone. There is really no reason at all why Biocchi did not have to give a breath sample even though a blood alcohol level was taken from Howard’s body proving that alcohol was not a factor in the the accident on Howard’s part .

I hope the Ontario Civilian Police Commission who are handling the appeal , come to the conclusion that there were in deed neglect of duty issues from the officers that attended the scene of the “accident”that night in February of 2010



Pat Nisbet deserves an answer as to why a man who had killed her son, is free and clear of any punishment, apparently due to the actions of a few police officers that night . My heart goes out to Nisbet ,who has no doubt been going through hell for the past two and a half years.

I can think of no other sorrow that is greater than losing a child. I only hope that Nisbet is finally going to get a little justice for her son whose life was so cruelly taken by Joseph Biocchi that night



Until next time, take care
* information from the Sault Star

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