NEWS

Frank Hurt Park in Surrey reopened after fatal 2011 attack

09/20/2014 04:58 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:03 EDT
A revitalized park was reopened in Surrey today after a teenage boy was fatally stabbed there three years ago. 

Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, and his childhood friend were playing soccer at a park behind Frank Hurt Secondary School on April 24, 2011, when they got into an altercationwith a group of young men. Allaire-Bell died and his friend was seriously wounded after they were both stabbed in the chest.

Since then, Allaire-Bell's parents have been fighting to clean-up the park and make it a safer space for people to spend time. They started picking up garbage that littered the field, and removing invasive plants that hampered visibility.

"Something good had to come of this," said Allaire-Bell's father, Wayne Bell. "When we started this it was humble beginnings. All we wanted to do was make the park more accessible, more usable, a little more safe than we thought it to be."

Also included in today's reopening was the unveiling of a new sculpture by Robert Davidson. The Haida artist crafted "Eagle Calling" in memory of Allaire-Bell, and it has been installed close to where the teenager was killed.

"One of his masterpieces, I consider it to be," said Wayne Bell of the artist's new sculpture.

Surrey crime is a pressing concern

The park is reopening on the same day Surrey RCMP is holding a block watch symposium, designed to train the city's 635 block watch captains how to mobilize their neighbourhoods against criminal activity. 

Crime has become a pressing concern for residents and law enforcement in Surrey.

On Tuesday, Serena Vermeersch was found dead near a set of railroad tracks in Surrey's East Newton neighbourhood. Police are calling the 17-year-old's death "random" and a "crime of opportunity."

Earlier this month, a nine-year-old girl waslured from her Surrey home where she had been sleeping, and was sexually assaulted in a nearby park. Police say the suspect, 23-year-old Donovan Adams, did not know the little girl.

And last December, Julie Paskall was murdered outside a Surrey hockey arena lot while waiting to pick up her teenage son. At the time, police said the 53-year-old mother of three was the target of a robbery gone wrong. 

There were a record number of 25 homicides in Surrey last year.

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