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Grandfather of Langley boy who died of apparent overdose doesn't blame police
Darrel Crimeni only had one grandchild.
And now that 14-year-old Carson is gone, from a suspected overdose after allegedly being given drugs at a Langley skatepark by a group of teenagers his family suspects he was trying to fit in with, the closest Crimeni can get is to visit his grandson’s memorial every day.
“He was a beautiful boy,” Darrel Crimeni said of Carson, who died Aug. 7. “He didn’t deserve this.”
Videos circulating on social media of Carson Crimeni at the Walnut Grove skatepark that appear to show him overdosing – while those behind the camera stood by and taunted him – have rocked the community and raised questions about why no one chose to call for help.
On Wednesday, two weeks after Carson’s death, his family learned that someone had seen a screen grab of disturbing video on Snapchat and two Langley Mounties had responded to a 911 call around 8 p.m. that evening, but were unable to find Carson.
Carson was eventually found barely breathing by a group of teenagers more than half a kilometre away in Walnut Grove Park nearly two hours later.
Those officers who initially responded are now under investigation by B.C.’s independent police watchdog, who will determine whether their actions or inactions may have contributed to Carson Crimeni’s death.
“I think reasonableness really is a guideline,” said Ron MacDonald with the Independent Investigations Office. “What would people expect a person who has a duty to protect and save life to do in response to a particular type of complaint?”
MacDonald couldn’t say whether Mounties had exited their vehicle or canvassed for witnesses. Nor could he specify where they had searched, saying that was all part of the IIO’s investigation.
RCMP’s E Division confirmed to CTV News that both RCMP officers remain on duty at the Langley detachment while the IIO investigates.
When asked about the update, Darrel Crimeni said his “heart went out” to the young girl who told her parents about spotting the video of Carson online and called authorities.
“I owe her a lot,” Crimeni said.
He added that while he had doubts about how thoroughly the responding officers search for his grandson, he doesn’t blame police.
“If they found him at 8 o'clock they might have been able to save him, but it wasn't the police that killed Carson,” Crimeni said.
The news that police responded to a 911 call, but didn’t find Carson, has some parallels to the case of Lisa Dudley, who was shot in her Mission home in 2008, but lay dying inside for four days until a neighbour found her, after the officers responding to gunshots didn’t get out of their vehicle to investigate.
Mark Surakka, Lisa Dudley’s stepfather, said while it was too premature to make any judgments, he broadly found a “lack of transparency [as] an inherent characteristic of these investigations.”
Surakka said he hopes the Crimeni family is getting solid legal advice and support.
"I just wish them as much strength as they can muster now and as much help as they possibly can, from our family to theirs,” he said.
In an interview with CTV News Wednesday night, Carson Crimeni’s father said while he too has questions about what police did or did not do that night, what he wants more than anything is justice for his son.
“It’s good to know at least one person had the sense and compassion to make a call,” Aron Crimeni said.
No arrests have been made and no charges have been laid.