Father hopes charge in B.C. teen's caught-on-camera overdose will protect other kids from bullies
After learning a young man had been charged in connection with his son's 2019 death, a B.C. father said he felt relieved, and hopeful for the impact the case may have on other teenagers.
Aron Crimeni spoke to CTV News Vancouver from his home in Langley, B.C., after it was announced Thursday that a 20-year-old had been charged with manslaughter.
The accused cannot be named, as he was a minor at the time of 14-year-old Carson Crimeni's death.
"It's been a long time waiting," Aron said, adding that his family had gotten to a point where they were doubtful anyone would be charged in the apparent overdose.
Carson died on Aug. 7, 2019, after being found in medical distress. While results of toxicology tests have not been made public, his family believes the boy overdosed, and claims he was given drugs by a group of teens he'd met up with at a local skate park that day.
Video posted to social media app Snapchat, reportedly captured by a member or members of that group, showed the teen in distress. Police were called to the park by someone who'd seen the video, but could not initially find Carson.
According to Aron, this was because the group he was with saw the officers coming and hid him. Carson was found later and was rushed to hospital, but did not survive.
More than two years after the incident, a single charge was announced in the case. The Langley RCMP announced the manslaughter charge, but did not give any details on the role the accused is alleged to have played on that day, citing a publication ban in the case.
It's a charge the Crimeni family does not feel is severe enough. They believe Carson knew then teens involved, and had been bullied by at least one of them in the past. Aron said he did not know whether the alleged bully is also the accused in the case.
These details have not been confirmed by police, and none of the family's allegations have been proven in court.
According to his sister, who spoke at Carson's funeral, he was the type of teenager who tried to "fit in" and be loved. Speaking directly to her brother that day, she said the massive crowd in attendance at his funeral showed just how loved he was.
Still, Carson's father said he's relieved, and hopeful for what a charge in the case may mean for children and teens dealing with similar situations.
"This isn't going to bring Carson back, this isn't going to make up for what was done to Carson, in my mind, at all. But what we're hoping it will do is prove that this behaviour isn't acceptable," he said.
"We're hoping that the fact that the charges have been pressed in some way helps protect another child in the future."