Teen charged with murder of gas attendant
Last Updated Mar 9 2005 08:17 PM PST
VANCOUVER – A 16-year-old youth arrested in connection with the death of a Maple Ridge service station attendant has been charged with second-degree murder.
16-year-old suspect arrives for court in back of police car
The teen, who cannot be named publicly because of his age, made a brief first court appearance on Wednesday afternoon.
The judge was told he is a permanent ward of the Ministry of Children and Families. However, members of his family showed up in court on Wednesday looking distraught.
The boy's lawyer, Greg Rideout, told reporters that the youth is upset and distressed – and that this is a tragedy for the accused, and for the man who was killed.
Grant De Patie was dragged for more than seven kilometres
"This has been a distressing matter for he and his family, as it is course for the friends and the family of the victim," he said prior to his client's court appearance.
Rideout says he doesn't know whether there will be any additional charges against his client.
Twenty-four-year-old Grant De Patie was dragged under a stolen car for more than seven kilometres through Maple Ridge early Tuesday morning.
It's believed that he was run down while trying to prevent a driver from getting away without paying for $12.30 worth of gasoline.
It's alleged the 16-year-old was the driver of that car.
Ridge Meadows RCMP recovered the car and arrested him and a 15-year-old boy from Pitt Meadows later on Tuesday. The second teen was later released.
The accused will be back in court on March 30 to set a date for a bail hearing.
Fifteen-year-old Maria Dolgova, one of his former schoolmates, says she was shocked and saddened by the news.
"I started crying and then I called my mum and told her that I had found out the name," she says. "And I just started shaking."
Meanwhile, a flower memorial for De Patie continues to grow at the Esso station at Dewdney Trunk Road and 248th Street.
The employees are being offered counselling, and the station is offering money for a scholarship for Maple Ridge students in De Patie's name.
He grew up and went to school in the Newton area of Surrey. And his parents say they appreciate the outpouring of community support they've received.
They say that their son had a passion for mountain bikes, and had moved to Maple Ridge to be closer to the trails he loved. And despite the fact that he worked at a gas station, he had never owned a car.