The first officers who tried to locate Carson Crimeni on the night he suffered a fatal drug reaction acted properly, said the Independent Investigations Office.
“The actions of the officers were not negligent,” wrote IIO chief director Ronald J. MacDonald in a report released Monday. “They acted completely reasonably in the circumstances.”
The report, based on interviews with multiple witnesses and the recorded 9-1-1 calls, notes that by the time the first officers arrived at the Walnut Grove Skate Park on Aug. 7 to search for 14-year-old Carson Crimeni, the boy and the group of teens he was thought to be with had left.
The report, which refers to Carson as the Affected Person, or AP, provides a timeline for the initial police response and the first 9-1-1 calls about Carson.
“In the afternoon and evening of Aug. 7, 2019, in the area of the Walnut Grove skate park, he had ingested a large quantity of drugs and was showing clear signs of distress,” the IIO report notes.
“The evidence indicates that by shortly after 7 p.m. AP was no longer at the skate park, but was in an area of baseball diamonds on the far side of a community centre and secondary school.”
But police weren’t contacted until 8:01 p.m., when a witness called 9-1-1 to report that her daughter had shown her as Snapchat photo, received about an hour earlier, that showed Carson at the skate park.
The witness passed on the claim that Carson had taken 15 capsules of “Molly,” another name for MDMA or ecstasy.
Police had a physical description of Carson, and were told he was in a group of other teens, but the witness did not know exactly where.
The first two officers were contacted at 8:08 p.m. and sent to the skatepark, arriving at 8:25 p.m., followed by an ambulance which arrived shortly after.
At 8:31 p.m. one of the officers radioed back “Nobody here. GOA [gone on arrival].”
They were on scene until 8:43 p.m. when they were dispatched to another call in the area.
One witness, an employee at the Walnut Grove Community Centre, spoke with the police and they asked about an intoxicated teen, but the witness could only tell them that no one fitting that description had been seen inside the centre.
Another witness saw the police on scene around 8:20 p.m., and both witnesses described the police searching around the skate park.
The report notes that the second 9-1-1 call about Carson came at 10:39 p.m., after he was discovered near the baseball diamond, and paramedics and police were againd dispatched, this time finding him. The second site was “on the other side of a number of large buildings and other visual obstructions,” the report notes.
MacDonald’s report noted that had there been any information on Carson’s whereabouts, the officers could have reacted to it and found him, but at the time there was none.
“This was a tragic incident leading to the death of a young person,” MacDonald wrote. “However, the actions of the police played no role in that outcome.”
Crimeni would be found several hours later, more than 650 metres away near some sports fields, in severe medical distress. A second RCMP patrol located him, and he was rushed to hospital but died later that night.
An RCMP investigation is ongoing, after witnesses claimed he was given a very large dose of drugs by older teens. Crimeni was mocked while intoxicated by older teens who posted videos of the young boy online.
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