UPDATE: Teen charged in violent attack

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 is to appear in New Westminster court today charged with Tuesday night's severe beating near the 22nd Street SkyTrain station.

According to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), which has taken over the case, the 19-year-old victim is in a coma and he is not expected to survive.

"The apparent motive for this tragic incident was an attempted robbery," said IHIT Sgt. Bari Emam. "At this point we have no information to suggest that the victim and the suspect were known to each other."

The 16-year-old will face charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. The names of the victim or the suspect have not been released.

The victim  was found in the area of 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue at about 7:45 p.m. and taken to hospital. Police had the BC Parkway path connecting the station to 23rd Street closed off as well as other sections of the path and neighbouring streets.

The Connaught Heights Residents Association (CHRA) wants to meet with police following a violent attack in their neighbourhood Tuesday evening which the victim was not expected to survive.

CHRA president Kris Taylor said he has contacted IHIT and the New Westminster Police Department about having someone speak to the residents about the incident in the next 10 days.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen something in the area between 7 and 8 p.m. Tuesday to call 1-877-551-4448 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Taylor said although he lives across the street from the SkyTrain station he didn’t hear anything Tuesday evening.

However, he said he has reported to Transit Police two or three incidents of violence on weekday evenings in the last two weeks when he heard fighting, screaming and yelling. He added it appeared four males seemed to be attacking one male.

But while police responded quickly, the males were gone by the time they arrived, said Taylor.

Taylor said any Connaughts Heights residents wanting updates on the community and the incidents from the CHRA can emailing and put the word “subscribe” in the subject line.

As of Wednesday, New Westminster had yet to officially register a homicide in 2013, although IHIT took over the investigation of two suspicious deaths within two weeks of each other in August. Two women who worked as online escorts died in different suites in the same apartment building prompting IHIT and New Westminster police to issue safety warnings to sex trade workers.

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