Surrey teen may have been murdered in ‘alcohol fuelled altercation’

SOUTH SURREY — A community is in mourning following the shocking and seemingly random murder of a popular 15-year-old Earl Marriott Secondary student in South Surrey early Saturday morning.

Surrey RCMP confirmed Sunday that Dario Bartoli had succumbed to injuries sustained during an apparent attack by a group of four or five people.

Bartoli was an avid skateboarder and BMX biker who was frequently seen at South Surrey’s Skate Park, where friends have already erected memorials and spray painted tributes in his memory.

Those friends also took to the social media website Facebook to grieve and share photos.

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(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

It was roughly 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning that Bartoli was reportedly out with another boy, aged 14, in a wooded section on the southwest side of Bakerview Park at 154 Street and 18 Avenue when they were attacked by a group of people.

After fleeing their attackers the two arrived at a house in the 15600 block of 18 Avenue where Bartoli was transported to Peace Arch Hospital in critical condition. He died of his injuries shortly after 10 a.m.

The murder investigation is now being handled by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

IHIT Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pound said that while investigators have spoken with some friends and witnesses, there are many more the team need to reach and police are asking anyone who might have details about the murder to come forward.

“There is much rumour and speculation as to what occurred the evening Dario was killed and for that reason we ask individuals who have information to come to police before turning to social media," said Pound, who added the scene was likely "dynamic" and the incident happened quickly.

Police have yet to confirm if or what weapons were involved or the size of the suspect group but wouldn’t classify the incident as a swarming.

“Early indications support the theory that this was an alcohol fuelled altercation between two groups that turned tragic,” said Pound. “The IHIT require time to gather the evidence based on the facts and not rumour or speculation, for that, we are asking for the public’s support in bringing information forward.”

The house where the injured teens fled is about three blocks east of the cordoned-off section of Bakerview Park. Police found several beer bottles on the ground in the park.

An autopsy is scheduled this week to assist police in determining the cause and means of death.

Bartoli’s death is Surrey’s 17th homicide of 2014 and the second within the past week.

IHIT is asking anyone with information to contact the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448, or, if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

— with file from Dan Fumano, The Province

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