Hamilton police charge second suspect in stabbing death of 17-year-old
Published Monday, December 10, 2018 12:27PM EST Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2018 7:09PM EST
A second suspect wanted for his alleged role in the death of a 17-year-old boy in Hamilton has surrendered to police.
Joshua Leo died on Friday after he was stabbed in the chest during a fight near Pinewarbler Drive and Bruleville Park.
According to Hamilton police, Leo and two friends travelled to the area in his mom’s white Kia at around 4:30 p.m. to purchase drugs.
When the alleged dealer showed up with another man, Leo and his 18-year-old friend stayed in the vehicle while the third friend got out.
The two suspects then got into the backseat of the Kia.
“Soon after, an altercation erupted inside the vehicle. That continued outside after the four occupants exited the car,” Det. Sgt. Peter Thom said Monday.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure what happened… All I can say is that very soon after they entered the vehicle, there was a violent encounter.”
Both Leo and his friend were stabbed during the fight, with Leo suffering a more serious wound.
The two suspects ran to a waiting vehicle and drove off.
When the third friend returned to the car, he placed Leo back in the vehicle started to drive them to hospital.
The friend quickly realized the severity of Leo’s injuries and pulled over a short distance away to call 911.
“An off-duty firefighter who was travelling behind them stopped to help and he was joined by an ex-military paramedic was walking home from Lime Ridge Mall,” Thom said.
“They attempted life-saving measures until EMS arrived.”
Paramedics rushed the injured pair to hospital, but Leo did not survive.
The second victim was treated for a minor upper body injury and later released.
Thom said investigators quickly determined the identities of the two suspects and getaway driver and by Saturday night, conducted a search warrant at the driver’s home.
The vehicle was seized and forensically examined.
The driver of that vehicle has been interviewed, but has not been charged.
“The evidence didn’t support charges for that,” Thom said.
By 11 p.m. that night, a suspect identified as 18-year-old Dawson Farr turned himself in to police. Farr was charged with manslaughter and assault with a weapon.
A second arrest was made by 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The 27-seven-year-old, identified as Tae Yoon Park or ‘Dan’ Park, has was also charged with manslaughter and assault with a weapon.
Farr and Park are roommates, Thom said, and colleagues at a local restaurant.
Neither suspect was known to authorities before this incident.
Two knives have since been recovered in connection with the case.
Thom said their investigation into the teen’s death has been hindered by a decision made by the chief coroner to have the autopsy conducted in Toronto and not Hamilton.
At this point, the examination has not yet been completed and has been rescheduled for today.
Thom could not speak to the reasons as to why that decision was made, but said it’s “impeded” the investigation and caused additional grief to Leo’s shocked family.
“It’s a very fluid and ongoing investigation over the whole weekend. Obviously the arrests came very quickly. They (the family) were apprised of the updates as we had them, prior to any media releases,” Thom said.
The two victims both attended Nora Frances Henderson Secondary School in Hamilton.
Thom said the school board has been notified of the incident.
“They’re obviously very upset,” he said of Leo’s family. “Compounding that is that the autopsy is taking so long.”
Investigators believe Leo and his friends knew Farr prior to Friday afternoon.
They will not say whether drugs were seized from the scene.
Farr is scheduled to be back in court on Dec. 11 and Park is set to appear on Dec. 17.