Family, friends and schoolmates of a 14-year-old Langley boy who died in an apparent overdose captured on video say someone needs to be held accountable.
Carson Crimeni died Wednesday evening after going into medical distress at the Walnut Grove Skateboard Park.
A series of videos circulating on Snapchat and other social media platforms shows the teen apparently high on drugs. Carson’s father Aron told Global News he wants others to view the video to see how his son was treated in his final hours.
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The videos show Carson twitching and slurring as a group of teens around him can be heard laughing.
On Saturday, the boy’s family issued a new plea for anyone with evidence to contact the RCMP tip line (604-532-3398), and to not take matters into their own hands.
Carson’s aunt, Diane, also published a statement to Facebook describing how she’d helped raise the boy and her heartbreak at how he was treated.
“Losing a child to the inhumane acts of others for their own entertainment is completely unfathomable,” she wrote.
“The lack of humanity, exploiting him in his final hours of suffering … Laughing at his pain. It is inhumane. It is evil. It is unthinkable and it is unbelievable.”
Carson’s peers — many who have seen the video, and others who have only heard about it — say they’re shocked and horrified by it, with many calling for the teens involved to face charges.
“He didn’t deserve any of this. He had so much life before him,” said Madeline Bush, whose younger sister was a close friend of Carson’s.
“The way I found out about it was so wrong, like, over the internet … It’s so wrong that somebody could videotape someone dying and being in so much pain, and they’re just laughing.”
Gabby Gutierrez, another friend of Carson’s, said the teen had been bullied in recent months and had tried being “weird” to fit in.
“I always tried to tell him, ‘You have to keep positive,’ she said. “I saw him three weeks before he died and he was so depressed. And seeing that was the worst because Carson was someone who would always cheer me up when he was at his lowest point.”
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Gutierrez said she believes she knows who shot the video.
She said she hadn’t spoken to police yet, but believed she would have to.
“I think someone needs to be held accountable. They had all that time to do something,” she said.
“But they just thought, ‘Oh, this is funny, why don’t I post it on social media. Clout, haha.’ It’s not funny. A 14-year-old kid is dead. And that’s just added on to the list of kids who have overdosed.”
Langley RCMP, the BC Coroners Service and the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) are all investigating Carson’s death.
RCMP confirmed Thursday night the teen was pronounced dead “after his arrival at a local hospital by what is believed to be an overdose on narcotics.”
Carson’s father, Aron Crimeni, said the boy was found alone, barely breathing in a ditch near the baseball field by the skate park.
The group of teens who found him, who weren’t at the skate park earlier, called 911, he said.
Officials have yet to confirm what substance Carson ingested, or how much was in his system when he died. An autopsy is slated for Tuesday.
As of Friday, no one had come forward to say how much drugs Carson took, or who supplied them.
“It’s pretty messed up, I’m not going to lie,” said student Dallas Laporte. “To sit there and film a kid when he’s overdosing, to sit there and laugh and put that on the internet, I don’t approve of that at all.”
Laporte added that there should be charges in the teen’s death.
Fellow student Kyle Cleathero agreed.
“If they don’t charge those kids, then what they did, they will never learn. They’ll just keep doing it,” he said.
“If you’re laughing at that, there’s something really wrong with you. That’s not OK.”
Criminal lawyer Paul Doroshenko told Global News on Friday that charges of criminal negligence causing death are possible if the teens can be identified, adding that the video itself would be strong evidence for prosecutors.
Carson’s friend Gabby said while she’s heartbroken, she’s hoping to harness the tragedy to raise awareness about drugs at her school.
She said friends are putting together a petition to have a wall at the school memorializing youth who have died of overdoses.
“No one deserves to be forgotten,” she said.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started on behalf of the family.
-With files from Sean Boynton, Rumina Daya and Julia Foy