Teen dies after being found in car park

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 17:19 12/08/2012
FOUND UNCONSCIOUS: Izak Millanta, 17, died in Wellington Hospital a day after he was found unconscious in a mall car park in Paraparaumu, north of Wellington.
FOUND UNCONSCIOUS: Izak Millanta, 17, died in Wellington Hospital a day after he was found unconscious in a mall car park in Paraparaumu, north of Wellington.

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A 25-year-old man has been charged with assault following the death of a Kapiti teenager who was found by police in a Paraparaumu car park.

Izak Millanta, 17, died about 2.30am this morning, after being found unconscious by police early yesterday morning in a car park at Coastlands Mall, north of Wellington.

He was found with a graze on his head just minutes after he was seen being chased by two men down an alleyway.

Paramedics had to resuscitate him at the scene before rushing him to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition.

Millanta underwent emergency surgery but died with family members at his side.

Police said this afternoon they were unable to provide any information about the cause of his death.

A 25-year-old man was due to appear in the Porirua District Court tomorrow.

TRIBUTES TO TEEN ON FACEBOOK

A Facebook page under the name R.I.P Izak Millanta 12/08/12 was set up this morning and by 4pm had 1260 likes. Dozens of people had posted messages of mourning on the page:

"A devastating loss of a beautiful life, an amazing young man. Look after each other, share your love & take a stand against violence - its unnecessary and tragic," Briar Gallagher posted.

"RIP Izak.. I will always remember your mischievous smile. Gone far too soon.....but never forgotten, and always loved. Rest easy little one xx," Rachel McGrory said.

Detective Inspector Mike Johnson said a large team of police were working to piece together the circumstances surrounding the victim's death.

"We know the victim was outside the Retro Bar in the Kapiti Lights carpark sometime before 3am where he was involved in an altercation with a group of people. We are speaking to a number of people who were in this area at the time early yesterday morning and those enquiries will continue throughout the course of the day."

Specialist investigators dressed in blue boiler suits yesterday searched two cordoned areas for clues - one where the teenager was found and another near where the incident unfolded.

Spots of blood were marked with orange cones.

"We are making inquiries in relation to CCTV footage and whether it covers the appropriate areas which may give us a clue," Johnson said yesterday.

TEENS SHOCKED

Josephine Tukaki-Millanta said last night her grandson was on his way home from a friend's place when he was allegedly involved in an altercation.

Her grandson was a former pupil of Kapiti College and Wellington High School, she said.

"He was a good kid with us, but you don't know what kids are doing behind your back."

Teenagers spoken to at the scene yesterday said Millanta was well known and "easy to get along with".

"He wouldn't have gone out asking for a fight, but if he was confronted he would have stood his ground," a 17-year-old man said.

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"It's shocking. I'm still getting over the fact it's happened here. Everyone has their scraps, but nothing like this has happened before."

Johnson said yesterday police had been called to trouble outside the Retro Bar previously.

"[It is] an area of interest to us. We've had some altercations and incidents there previously."

A cafe owner said shop fronts in the area had been damaged recently by people who had been drinking at Retro Bar. She was already beefing up security at her cafe before the incident.

Retro Bar manager David Aitken said the men allegedly involved in yesterday's incident had been refused entry to the bar earlier in the evening because they had breached the liquor ban.

Aitken denied allegations the bar was behind problems in the area.

"Our customers don't cause any problems. It's people drinking in the car park."

When found, Millanta was wearing a blue and beige checked shirt with a white T-shirt underneath, blue jeans, light brown boots and a black woollen hat. 

- The Dominion Post

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