Q+A: 'Do the right thing,' father of Langley teen who overdosed urges witnesses
CTV News Vancouver
Published Monday, August 12, 2019 3:04PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:48AM PDT
A teen from Langley died of a suspected overdose at a skate park last week, while witnesses stood by and captured video on their cellphones.
As police continue their investigation, 14-year-old Carson Crimeni's dad, Aron Crimeni, is speaking out and calling on witnesses to come forward.
Below is part of an interview with CTV Morning Live, which has been edited for length and clarity. Watch the eight-minute interview above.
Question from CML's Keri Adams and Jason Pires: Tell us a little bit about your son for people who never got a chance to meet him?
Answer from Aron Crimeni: My son was the most amazing kid. He was caring, he just wanted to make people laugh all the time, that's all he wanted to do.
He had ADHD and he had high anxiety at times. I know he went through some embarrassing times in his class and I know he got teased a little, but for him, instead of being that one that would go and hide away and not want to be around people, it was the opposite.
It drove him to be a better friend to people, it drove him to go try harder to make friends. That's all he wanted.
Question: RCMP have said that he died of an apparent overdose, the autopsy results have not come out yet. To your knowledge was your son experimenting with drugs and did peer pressure, even bullying come into play?
Answer: Oh, absolutely. As far as him being into drugs, no. I suspect he smoked weed, I know all 14-year-olds have at this point. I remember when I was 14, I know there was very little my parents could have told me to stop me from experimenting on that but he asked me very frequently, on a regular basis, about stronger drugs and about what they were and we talked to him consistently about the dangers of these other drugs and not to take them.
He swore to us that he wouldn't. He was curious about them, and I do believe if he was peer pressured into them he might try it to fit in. But he didn't know what he was taking.
Editor's note: Aron clarified that he believes other teens may have given his son the drugs. He said he doesn't know what happened that day, and that it's possible Carson was given something without knowing what it was or how much he was taking.
Question: What's your message to the kids who may have been at the park? How come no one has come forward, or has anyone given you any indication of what happened?
Answer: There's been a lot of people that have called in, a lot of people that have reached out. I want to thank everyone that has. For the people that were there, the people that saw him being given the drugs, people that were standing there and know who and how much and what was given, are an eyewitness, we do need more of them to call in.
Please know if anybody out there has seen what he was given, this is a decision you're going to live with for the rest of your life. It's the time where you either did the right thing or you didn't and you'll be remembered for that and you'll remember it yourself for the rest of your life.
So I just encourage you to please do the right thing and phone.
Question: We've been hearing about something called bystander syndrome, where people stand around and take video and don't do anything. What do you have to say about that?
Answer: It's really hard for me to wrap my head around. People and children just need to understand that if you're seeing somebody being hurt, being bullied and they're in danger, that it's OK to call for help. Don't be afraid of your repercussions.
Question: What do you want people to take away from this tragedy?
Answer: Talking to your children about drugs isn't enough. You can't just lock your child away and keep them safe that way. Sometimes you do have to depend on the other people out there and other people's children. I think people need to be aware that if they see somebody that needs help to call for help.
When it comes to bullying, something that starts off as teasing and name-calling can very quickly accelerate into something dangerous. And in this case, it did.
If you see bullying, if you see somebody in danger, you don't have to put yourself in a dangerous situation, but you can always talk to somebody. You can always call somebody; 911's always there. In this particular case it was a few hundred feet from the front door of an athletic centre full of adults.