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Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.

Our family has witnessed first-hand, the injustice and incompetence of the Justice System of this country. There is NO Justice System! Through letters to City Councillors, right up the chain of command to the Crown Attorney Hillary McCormick, whose reply to us, from her assistant was that the evidence had been reviewed and there was not enough evidence to lay a charge. The others just replied giving their condolences and letting us know that they had passed our letter of concern on to ‘someone else’. That ‘someone else’ would have previously received their own letter from us.

Our family was informed that, the cab driver (Youseff Jaber’s) ‘past history’ was irrelevant in Sarah’s death, as he had never been charged on any of his previous incidents. The justice/legal system doesn’t care whether Jaber has an aggressive, violent behaviour towards people. A man that provided a service to the citizens of Ottawa, to the seniors of Ottawa and to everyone in between. As you continue on, you will become aware of the rather disturbing ways of this man. We suspect these are not all of his wrong doings; however, this compacted list of incidents from the Ottawa Police files will give you some idea. Keeping in mind, we did not receive this list from the Police until after Sarah’s Inquest! Why was there never enough evidence to charge this man?

Celebrating at O’Connor’s Pub in Kanata Centrum, arriving there around 11:00pm on November 26th 2005.

Sarah’s Sister Dawn drove them to the bar but only stayed for a short time, as she had to work the following day.

The trio – Sarah, Jon and Terry had decided, during the evening, that they would spend the night at the Holiday Inn Select in Kanata Centrum. It was close; It was a great idea!

They left the pub around 2:00am on foot. Just outside the door a vendor was selling hotdogs, so Jon bought one to share with Sarah. The night was chilly; Sarah and Jon had left their coats in Dawns car. Terry was the only one with a coat.

The three of them headed down the walkway (south) towards the Holiday Inn.

It wasn’t long before Sarah was complaining about how cold it was. Her and Jon sharing the hotdog along the way. Being the kind hearted Uncle that Terry was; he gave up his coat, anything for his niece.

As they pass the entrance to the AMC theatre, Terry spots a Taxi light coming towards them and because Sarah was so cold – Terry rushes ahead of Sarah & Jon to flag down the Taxi. That would become the biggest mistake of their lives.

The Taxi van, although not in the area to pick-up the trio – the cabbie was supposedly called to pick up one person at the OC Bus depot at the south side of the AMC theatre. When Jaber saw Terry waving his arms, he thought perhaps that was his fare and they had just moved positions. Unfortunately for Sarah, Jon and Terry the cabbie veers towards them – stops to ask, if they had called for a taxi. Terry replied “yes”. Jaber asked Terry for his name and when Terry gave it to Jaber, he replied that the name was not the one for which he was called to pick up. Terry asks Jaber if he would take them just over to the Holiday Inn and showed him a twenty dollar bill. We know from our dealings with the cab industry that cabbies do not like short fares! However, they DO like cash! Jaber refused Terry. Terry continues to try and persuade this already hot-headed cab driver with a twenty dollar bill, “why not, it’s such a short distance”, Terry says.

Apparently, there was an alleged verbal altercation between Jaber and Terry. Apparently, Jaber was fearful of Terry at this point. This was where Jaber apparently made a call to dispatch to inform them that they were ‘breaking his car’, and he needed assistance. Terry was simply trying to get them a ride. Jon was with Sarah! Jon turned and was walking back towards Terry to tell him to forget about it, come on! Jon had no interaction/conversation at all with Jaber, yet Jaber always refers to Terry as they!

Sarah began walking ahead on towards the hotel with her back to the cab. The taxi van drove off but not towards the bus depot where his fare was waiting to be picked up. The two young men, now walking towards Sarah, notice the taxi reverse lights coming towards them. For a split second Jon and Terry think the cabbie has changed his tune and is coming back to pick them up after all. However, the van was reversing towards them, at a fast rate of speed. He was not coming back to drive them at all. As the van sped past the, Jon being on the driver’s side turned just in time and before the driver’s side mirror was about to hit his arm, Jon’s hand hit the mirror thus breaking the glass/mirror. That did not slow the van down, however, Jabers van continued on backing up, hitting Sarah, we suspect from behind knocking her to the pavement face down. With the force of impact that she was hit at – her foot became caught up under the van. Sarah was stuck underneath...

At this point, Jaber put his van into drive and speeds past Jon and Terry who are both unaware of him striking Sarah until they witness her being dragged from the under carriage of his van speeding past them. Sarah is screaming for her life. At this point Terry and Jon are running after Jabers vehicle screaming and yelling for Jaber to stop. Jaber claims he was fearing for his safety therefore, kept right on speeding out of the Centrum Plaza parking lot, along private drive towards Kanata avenue. Jaber left his ‘pick’ waiting at the OC depot!

Jaber makes a radio call to his dispatch yelling that they were breaking his car, which apparently meant – Jon and Terry were banging on the side of the vehicle; he had no way out to reach safety. Jaber had already driven away and then came back at them. Why? He was ‘safely’ away from them. During this call to dispatch, the back ground was quiet, no banging noises. We suspect that Jaber was actually driving over the 417 and heading towards the on ramp when he was actually placing his call. Keeping in mind, there is not enough evidence to prove our suspicions of this. Even though Constable Cooper, a traffic Collision expert for the OPS told us that the ‘time line’ from when the first 911 call was placed, to when Jaber called his dispatch and other calls made, Jaber could have very easily been well on his way. Did the Police ever research the time lines, that were apparent to Constable Cooper, the Officer in charge? We can only suspect not.

By the time the young men reach Kanata Avenue and flagged down an oncoming vehicle, to see if they had a cell phone to call 911 and to try to explain what had just taken place, Jaber was well on his way – to where? Home! Jaber was so fearful of these two young men who apparently were, quote “breaking my car” – that he totally disregarded the fare that he was called to pick up and is heading home! We wonder why Jaber was not sticking around for the Police. After all, his mirror and van had been allegedly vandalized by Terry and Jon!

Jon and Terry have been running, they are breathless and are trying to explain this bizarre incident. They are able to reach 911 and Terry speaks with 911 dispatch. He describes the taxi driver as a paki. (Lebanese decent apparently should have been his description – so from that moment on Jon and Terry were ‘racist’, as far as the Justice system was concerned).

Now, after talking with 911, Jon and Terry continue on running south along Kanata Avenue, when they come upon a police cruiser who has been called to Centrum but at this point the officer does not exactly know what is going on, as there are also police cruisers on the 417. Constable Turner stops his vehicle to hear what Jon & Terry have to say. They began trying to explain what had just happened. The two of them were exhausted by this time, crying, yelling, just trying to get someone, anyone to look for Sarah. At this point, Turner was making some sense of what had happened, between the police calls and 911 calls that had being coming in. He tells the two of them to wait on Kanata Avenue and he would send another cruiser for them. Jon & Terry continue on running towards the 417, the way they knew Jaber had went and as they make it to the 417 off ramp, coming up the ramp was a cruiser driven by Constable Stangle an Ottawa Police Officer. He immediately got out of his vehicle to comfort Jon and Terry as they asked him, quote “Is that Sarah?” as the two saw a body down on the 417. It was Sarah. It was our beautiful 25 year old daughter Sarah. Lifeless!  On the 417, 1.5 km from where she was hit.

Constable Stangle parks his cruiser at the top of the Casselfrank off ramp and walks with Jon and Terry back towards the Holiday Inn where he believes the incident occurred. By this time, the two lads are beside themselves. They are in disbelief that Sarah is gone. Their emotions are all over the place. Stangle was very compassionate towards the two of them. The officer stated at the Inquest that he couldn’t begin to imagine what they were feeling at this particular time. They were able to use a meeting room within the Holiday Inn to have Jon and Terry sit in, compose themselves and of course warm up, while officers tried to piece together the night. Constable Abdi was present in the meeting room, just manning the post, and Jon, being filled with emotions, asked the officer, quote “ is this an immigrant thing?” no one can possibly even begin to comprehend what Jon was trying to get across to them – frustration is the bottom line. Even though, Constable Abdi (being of a different race) thought nothing of Jon’s comment that night, other than they were frustrated and emotional. However, at the Inquest, the lawyers played highly on the so called “racial comment” Jon made.

Our daughter Sarah had been dragged 1.5 km to her death by a Westway Taxi driver- Youseff Jaber. A Taxi driver that as the investigation continues, our family finds out ‘was’ known to the police for his aggressive ignorant violent behaviour. The OPS had numerous complaints made by various citizens of Ottawa, regarding Jaber. However, there never seemed to be enough evidence to lay a charge on Jaber.

The taxi driver Jaber by this time has made it onto the 417 East bound and has been flagged down by a car and has pulled his vehicle over to the shoulder. Just seconds before pulling to the side, Sarah’s body becomes dislodged from his van. Sarah was immediately ran over by two passing vehicles, that were unable to avoid hitting her, they also pulled over. Our daughter Sarah comes to rest just below the 417pedestrian overpass. In one of the other vehicles that pulled over, was a nurse. She was in another taxi and was on her way home. The cabbie driving her mentioned to her that his buddy was in some kind of trouble and that he wanted to see if he was able to locate him and see what his trouble was. His cabbie buddy was Youseff Jaber. They came upon his taxi van pulled over on the 417, this taxi was one of the two mentioned vehicles to run over Sarah, as she dislodged from Jabers van. The nurse went over to Sarah (we are grateful for that) to check for a pulse but there wasn’t one. She made a 911 call also. The nurses’ cab driver stated to her, upon pulling up on the 417, that he knew the cab driver involved (Jaber) and it did not surprise him that this had happened to him. He continued to say that he figured his driving would eventually hurt someone. Sgt. Murrell later told the nurse witness, that what her cabbie had told her was just ‘cabbie talk’. Sounds like a ‘character witness’ to us! We know that so many people knew exactly what Jaber was like and what he was capable of.
The OPP are now involved also, because of the 417 jurisdiction. From Police Inspectors, Sergeants  to Constables right up to Incident Commander  Sgt. Scott Nystadt in both the OPS and OPP services, there were numerous participants that together with ‘all’ of their knowledge and expertise, should have had this case under wraps in no time. (We mention Sgt. Nystadts name because during the investigation, he plays a role to which our family has questioned.)

Jabers van is tarped up and transported to Police compound for further inspection. From the tarp being wrapped over the van, there were marks everywhere that were not in photos of the van while on the 417. Marks had been created and Terry and Jon were being accused of making them.

We are aware that there was much confusion as to where (which parking lot) the alleged altercation took place. The officers were relying on both Jon and Terry to give them a location. Even though, we are informed  the two young men had been drinking and were somewhat intoxicated, they would not be reliable witnesses. Terry was emotionally unable to return to the scene and therefore that left only Jon to help out, trying to find his way through the parking lot, going in the opposite direction, was confusing as Jon was not overly familiar with the area.

The Police began cordoning off the parking lot closest to the Holiday Inn, leaving the other lot in front of the AMC open to new traffic. Common sense would be to cordon off ALL parking lots that the trio would have had to walk through in order to get to the Holiday Inn! In the 911 calls, the AMC parking lot was mentioned. O’Connor’s Pub was mentioned. Sometime later into the investigation, evidence from Sarah was being located, which quickly brought it to the attention of the Officers that they had cordoned off the wrong area and that the correct area (closest to the AMC) had been somewhat contaminated from new traffic entering the lot. Sarah’s death investigation was botched! Contaminated!

The Police are trying to piece the night together. They have witnesses that Sarah was under Jabers vehicle. Jaber is able to go over to look at Sarah’s body. Jaber is able to walk around his vehicle, while parked along the 417... apparently, after some conversation, Jaber is placed in a cruiser and taken downtown to Elgin Street. Where he denies knowing that he had been dragging anyone. He denies his actions in the altercation. Our family was told, at the Inquest, that Jaber was interrogated by Constable Desjourdy. Whom, we are told had an ‘in your face’ interrogation. However, Jaber remained to no knowing anything of Sarah’s dragging. He simply claims he, at one point, feared for his life, and that Jon and Terry were violent towards his vehicle! (Jon and Terry?)

All that being said, our family desperately wants the public to be aware of all the hurdles that we have been ‘trying’ to get over, and to no avail! We want you to be informed of the many circumstance/discrepancies within Sarah’s investigation that we are having trouble accepting. We need and want answers to so many questions, and no one will step up to the plate and give us those answers. Answers that any family, any parent and any sibling would want to know. Our family has not come to terms with simply letting go – giving up. We will not give up on finding out why our daughter Sarah McCarthy’s death investigation went nowhere. There were far too many individuals, trained individuals, on the scene and on the 417 that fateful early morning of November 27th, 2005 for any investigation to have gone, to have ended up the way that our daughters ended up. Contaminated...they want us to believe!

From the very beginning of Sarah’s investigation, and all through the month of December, we are involved with a Constable Kelly Cooper, OPS. Cooper was the investigating officer from that night. Later we will find out Constable Cooper arrived at the scene at 5:00am, she is the investigating officer! She informed our family, right up front that she was very confident on charges being laid against Youseff Jaber, as the OPS had a thick file on this man, and that Jaber was a bad individual. So we believed in her. She had met with Jon and Terry, as least three times, getting information from the two.

Approximately 2 day before Christmas 2005, Constable Cooper contacted us to let us know that we wouldn’t know the outcome until sometime in January, as there was a ‘small’ piece of the puzzle missing. However, they were sending some evidence off to the RCMP forensic lab out east.

So, with our full trust in her, we would just wait.

 In early January 2006 we were called by Constable Cooper to meet with her at the Greenbank Station. The puzzle was solved, we thought. We went into the meeting with good feeling for once. There we were introduced to Sgt. Murrell, he was the one that did all the talking..Cooper sat back. He tells our family that Sarah’s toxicology tests had returned from the lab and that Sarah had had too much to drink that night! This was going to make or break the case?? That being our first encounter with Sgt. Murrell. When he sat there and told us that Jaber was a family man too, he has a wife and kids. That there would be no charges laid against him due to lack of evidence and the crime scene being contaminated. We were numb! He also told us Jaber was not known to the Police (which we would later find out untrue). He had no previous charges. (Later, we would find out what kind of man Jaber really was.)

Why did Constable Cooper have nothing to say? She was the ‘competent’ Investigating Officer, so we were told many times previous.

What was happening here? A grieving family can’t simply just walk away and be satisfied with this kind of results. We received over 17,000+ signatures from individuals unknown to us, along with family and friends.  People were shocked to learn that no charges were being laid. This cab driver, hit and drags this young woman to her death and walks away...unbelievable, to say the least.

Our family sent this petition requesting an Inquest into Sarah’s death to Dr. McCallum, Chief Coroner of Eastern Ontario (at the time) and later met with him. He agreed to give us the Inquest, however informed us that an Inquest is not to point blame. Recommendations would be made so that this would not happen to anyone else. Also he stated an Inquest was a privilege. We finally felt like we had actually accomplished something.

The Inquest took place in April 2007 and ran for approximately 2 weeks. It was during this time, that our family learned a lot about our Ottawa Police Services and the OPP.

We soon found out Dr. McCallum was not keeping his word – “An Inquest is not to point blame” – All blame was towards Terry & Jon. Youseff Jaber quickly became the innocent victim. Sarah had been forgotten about! The Inquest was like Terry and Jon were on Trial...The many people attending the Inquest can tell you. It was unbelievable! During breaks, Police officers were chatting it up with Jaber.. We were outcasts! Jabers history of being violent, aggressive etc was apparently irrelevant! (As he was never charged for anything.)

We know the numbers of Officers, Constables, Sergeants and Specialists that were actually on the scene that morning.

There should have been absolutely no reason on earth, for Sarah’s investigation to become contaminated or botched in the way it was. We are asking ourselves, are these individuals that are supposedly trained to ‘serve and protect us’ ALL that incompetent? Or is the Legal System itself incompetent and/or corrupt! Not one person that night had the common sense to cordon off the area by O’Connor’s Pub, knowing that the trio had came from there and had left on foot! Unbelievable to us!

The Incident Commander that morning was Sgt. Scott Nystadt. He had come to our home to talk to us previous to the Inquest. Not yet knowing exactly what role he played on November 27th,2005 – we conversed back and forth as grieving parents with concerns of why no charges had been laid against Jaber. He sat there informing us that Constable Cooper should never had led us to believe there was a file on Jaber and that she should never have told us that Jaber was a bad person and the OPS was finally going to get him on this one! Constable Cooper, according to Nystadt was incompetent and should not have been the lead Officer! So, the investigation became contaminated etc., and because of the incompetence of Constable Cooper ..no charges because no evidence!! Sgt. Nystadt also questioned my husband and I, as to whether we were planning to sue the OPS. To this day, we believe that, that was the reason for Nystadt’s visit that afternoon. He never once mentioned he was also there November 27th 2005.

Photos were taken of Jabers van while on the 417 – pictures shown at the Inquest revealed no dents! The vehicle was filthy. Yes the drivers mirror (glass) was gone; the mirror framework was intact. (Jon never denied slapping at the mirror when Jaber came back at them from behind) Several photos were taken of the van at various angles. However, the only angle that was not shown during the inquest was the front of Jabers van. Why? Because, only 4 hours previous to Jaber hitting and dragging Sarah to death, Jaber rammed his van into a woman’s vehicle at Scotiabank Place and fled the scene. Apparently, she wasn’t moving fast enough for him. The incident was reported, however it seems West-Way was unable to determine who the driver of Jabers van was. Jaber, however revealed at the Inquest that he is the only driver on his van. Do you think the OPS charged Jaber with this incident? Our guess is no! Jaber had been disciplined previously by West-Way; however the taxi union seems to come to his aid!

Our family believes communication plays a major role with our legal/justice system! There isn’t any!

The first cruiser that Jon and Terry came across that night was that of Constable Turner OPS. The way in which they were acting, (out of breath, frustrated, crying) Turner states under oath that he feared for himself when the two young men were approaching him...they had been running for god sakes! They needed to move quickly to get to Sarah. In Constable Turner’s notes of that morning, there is no mention of him being fearful.

Jaber was asked at the Inquest, before he was flagged down on the 417, did he notice anything unusual about the way his vehicle was driving or working? His reply was, quote “No- nothing at all, there was..There was nothing at all. I felt only before I was flagged that..by..by that car, I felt a kick in the transmission and this is usual, actually. This is usual for me because I knew that the van—the transmission was kicking.” A mechanic called in by the Police examined Jabers’ van, only to find the transmission was in good order!

Jaber apparently was able to make a cell phone call to his wife, either while he was on his escape route to the 417 or while he was in shock when waiting on the 417.

Once Jaber had made his call to dispatch for help, he turned all communication off. Is that what you would do, if you feared for your safety? Therefore, dispatch could no longer keep in contact with him.

We believe Jaber should have been tested for drugs and alcohol. An individual that spends so much time in their vehicle but states that he did not know he was dragging someone, something? You tell us!

While on the 417, Jaber was able to walk around his vehicle while it was pulled over. Why would he have free range of the site? A crime scene! Obviously, Jaber was not being watched? He apparently was so distraught. However, he did not require medical attention.

The police always portrayed Jon and Terry as non-credible witnesses, even though they were there. Why did the OPS insist on taking three statements from them? The statements that the two gave first, never changed...Jaber was there – words were exchanged – Jaber drove off – Jaber came back at them at a fast speed – right past them – Jaber made a ‘donut’ manoeuvre and sped out past them – taking Sarah with him! That never ever changed. This alleged altercation only took minutes!  We aren’t talking about half an hour or anything...minutes! A video camera caught 3 people walking through the AMC parking lot at 2:36am, Van style taxi is shown coming towards them at 2:41am. Constable Stangle has Jon and Terry with him at the 417 off ramp at 2:45am.  Sarah is dead.

It wasn’t until April 2007, at the Inquest that we would find out that, Constable Cooper, the officer put in charges of Sarah’s investigation arrived on the scene at approximately 5:00am...what are your thoughts?

By 9:00am a collision officer found the evidence trail outside the cordoned off area.

From the police notes of Detective Jones, OPS of that morning (approximately 10:00am) he states that he is checking Jabers vehicle- no visible signs of damage – missing driver’s side mirror glass + plastic piece inside. We are assuming Jones means ‘inside’ Jabers van! Was the mirror broke previous to this incident? Also, between 11:30am and 3:30pm he makes a note that – Overall path clearly shown by drag/skid marks from beginning to end. Is that not crucial evidence?

We believe,Sarah’s investigation became political. Even our Police Chief Vern White told us that because he was not in the position of Police Chief at that time, he cannot help us. Why can’t he open up the investigation and himself see what a mess his officers made of this whole investigation. He tells us, that he is unable to bring any of his officers to the table! What the hell does that mean? Is he condoning all the mistakes that were made? Is Chief White just afraid to check the file out? Or has he been told not too? We don’t know, because no one will talk to us.  Chief White states in the Ottawa Sun – that Cabbies are his eyes and ears. God help us all. People think that Sarah’s family are dwelling on her death. We are grieving- yes. Our daughter’s death devastated our family. Hopefully one day we will come across an honest person that is interested and willing to help us!

At the present time, I am gathering and documenting for Sarah’s Website, the numerous discrepancies we are finding between what is written in the police officers notebooks and from what was verbally stated to our family, and will continue posting them. So, please continue your interest with us. Sarah’s death investigation, we were told became contaminated, as the OPS did not cordon off the correct areas in the correct parking lot at the Centrum Plaza on the early morning of November 27th,2005.

One would never expect this should ever happen with the expertise of two Police Services being involved, not to mention the many officers that were on the scene. Our family has asked time and time again, how such incompetence could have taken place. For reasons unknown to us, we have never received answers from anyone. Why would that be? All we ever wanted was the truth. Apparently, the truth is something our Legal System knows nothing about!

Even upon reading the Coroner’s report (Dr.Murphy) he makes his own conclusion that Sarah’s death was accidental. Sarah’s death was not accidental. We believe that Sarah’s death was as deliberate as it is true. What reason did Jaber have to run her over and then drag her. We believe he was already in a angry state of mind and was not going to let Terry have the last word, so to speak.

We do believe money talks!  After all who is Sarah McCarthy to any of these people? Sarah was just a name to those in power. Sarah was just another young adult, another statistic to them.  That’s how our government is.

We do believe Sarah’s death was swept under the carpet by all those involved in her investigation.

With the number of trained and supposedly experienced individuals from our Police forces, that being both OPP and OPS involved in our daughter’s death investigation and on the scene that morning of November 27th,2005 they should have been able to piece together the event. But to NOT cordon off the whole area, knowing the AMC was mentioned in the 911 call and knowing that they had come from O’Connor’s Pub.

There are many good Officers out there, don’t get us wrong. The unfortunate thing is – these officers need to step up and be true to themselves and to the victims/families they come across. Police Officers often take blame due to their positions. There are many others involved when it comes down to making a decision. The Bureaucrats, Politicians and some of the highest within our Legal System need to be held accountable in cleaning up the injustices within our system.

The justice system told our family that Jabers past history, one of violence, aggression, ignorance and hot-tempered behaviour was irrelevant in Sarah’s death. Our family, tends to disagree with that. We believe that Jaber was ‘already’ in a hot tempered agitated mood, when Terry and himself came to meet. It did not take much for Jaber to loss control of himself, once more. Except this time, he DID kill someone. Just as one of his fellow taxi driver remarked to a passenger in his cab, while on the 417 that night.

Anyone we speak to and/or is aware of Sarah’s death cannot believe that Jaber walked. He walked all right..he fled the Country. Imagine..an innocent man..the victim, apparently.. why would he flee?

Immigration Canada was also looking for Jaber – was there something wrong with his status?

Our questions/suspicions are numerous!

To be continued...

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