RCMP in Langley, B.C., are investigating whether any crimes were committed at a local skateboard park before the sudden death of a 14-year-old, who was broadcast on social media taking drugs in the hours before his suspected overdose.
Corporal Holly Largy said about 10 Mounties from the Langley detachment are now involved in the “very active” investigation into the death of Carson Crimeni last Wednesday. The investigation comes after shocking videos on social media appeared to show older teens at the Walnut Grove skate park egging on the severely intoxicated boy as he ingests drugs labelled MDMA.
The boy was transported to a local hospital later that night, where he was pronounced dead, according to an RCMP news release asking for tips on what happened to him that day.
“There has been many interviews conducted and evidence collected, but there’s still more to do,” Cpl. Largy told The Globe and Mail Monday. “Right now, it’s not an alleged crime [that we’re investigating], it’s the investigation into an unfortunate death and whether or not there is any criminality around that death at all.”
In an investigation as complex as this one, it is common for police in B.C. to forward all evidence to Crown prosecutors to then decide which charges should be laid, if any, she said.
Screen captures of the videos have circulated widely online since the boy’s death and enraged many in the quiet Vancouver suburb. The night after he died, more than a hundred people showed up to the skate park for a candlelit vigil. Calls to his family were not returned Monday.
Kyla Lee, a Vancouver-based criminal-defence lawyer who had the clips forwarded to her, said the videos could be used as evidence to lay trafficking charges against those who sold or gave the boy the drugs that day. As well, she said, criminal negligence charges might be warranted given the “wanton and reckless disregard” the group of older teens showed to their younger peer.
Particularly given his age and given their age in relation to him, all of the people around are visibly older than he is, so there’s some degree of responsibility in those circumstances that they bear for him. Instead of getting him help or at least saying ‘Okay, you’ve had enough,’ they’re egging him on, they’re feeding him more drugs, they’re encouraging him and then they’re openly mocking him when he gets to the point of being out of touch with reality— Kyla Lee, Vancouver criminal-defence lawyer
In one of the clips, Ms. Lee said, a bystander attempts to step in and help the boy.
“There’s a female voice from off camera that says ‘shouldn’t we get him something to drink?' and then a male voice that says, “Naw, he just had a slurpee, he’s fine,'” Ms. Lee said Monday.
“Particularly given his age and given their age in relation to him, all of the people around are visibly older than he is, so there’s some degree of responsibility in those circumstances that they bear for him. Instead of getting him help or at least saying ‘Okay, you’ve had enough,’ they’re egging him on, they’re feeding him more drugs, they’re encouraging him and then they’re openly mocking him when he gets to the point of being out of touch with reality.”
The provincial coroners’ service is investigating how the boy came to his death. A spokesperson said Monday that tests have not been completed yet that confirm whether it was a drug overdose and which substances were involved.
The deceased boy was described as a “loving, energetic and happy high-school student,” who enjoyed playing hockey and video games, according to an online fundraising page set up to help his family with funeral costs.
Julie Nakahara, a family friend that created the fundraising drive, wrote on the page: “It is heartbreaking to learn that Carson may have been visibly suffering while people taunted, filmed and photographed him – instead of calling for help.”
We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.