Teen charged with second-degree murder in New West assault

New Westminster police guard the scene of a beating near the 22nd Street SkyTrain station. - MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER
New Westminster police guard the scene of a beating near the 22nd Street SkyTrain station.

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with second degree murder in connection with a vicious assault near the 22nd Street SkyTrain station Dec. 17, according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

After being in a coma for three days, Karim Meskine, 19, of Surrey passed away Dec. 20 in Royal Columbian Hospital with his family by his side, said Sgt. Bari Emam, spokesman for IHIT which took over the case from New Westminster police shortly after the incident happened. He said the motive appeared to be robbery.

"Karim was the innocent victim of an unprovoked attack and was found unconscious by a passerby who called 911 for help," said Emam. "Karim's family are devastated by this incident and are at a loss for words. This is one of the saddest cases I have been a part of all these years at IHIT."

The 16-year-old suspect, who was arrested by the NWPD shortly after the incident which occurred about 7:45 p.m., was charged Dec. 19 with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. The murder charge was added Monday.

The victim was found in the area of 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue. Police cordoned off the area, including the stretch of the BC Parkway that connects the SkyTrain station to 23rd Street for more than two days to gather evidence.

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