Teen, friend ‘viciously’ attacked before fall: Police
A BRISBANE teen fell to his death from a Gold Coast balcony while fleeing knife-wielding armed robbers he'd been partying with earlier that night, police will allege in court.
Detectives are also investigating whether three men charged with 19-year-old Cian English's murder are also responsible for a series of break-ins on Gold Coast chemists last week.
Mr English was staying at the View Pacific resort in Surfers Paradise on Friday night with a group of friends when he fell about four floors to his death, allegedly while fleeing a violent armed robbery.
Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith described the alleged attack as "vicious" and the outcome "tragic".
"We've got a young man who was on the Gold Coast with his friends and one thing's led to another and he's now dead," he said.
"I don't know how you reconcile that as a family or even as a community. It's becoming too common and we need to stop it. Violence doesn't solve anything."
Det Supt Smith said Mr English was staying with a small group of friends in one apartment and they began talking to another group in the apartment above from their balconies.
He said the two groups had not met before that night.
Police will allege a group of young men on the floor above invited Mr English and his friends to join them at their own party to share a stash of prescription drugs.
The two groups are believed to have gone back and forth between the two apartments throughout the night.
"During the course of the evening, (we will allege) the three main offenders have robbed the victim and his friend at knifepoint and during the course of that, the victim has attempted to escape and gone over the balcony and died," Det Supt Smith said.
Det Supt Smith said the alleged consequences of the robbery and threats made to the teen led to the trio being charged with murder.
He said police would allege in court the trio had assaulted and attempted to rob Mr English and his friend, who managed to flee during the attack, of mobile phones and clothing.
"(The friend) was able to flee during the melee," Det Supt Smith said.
"They were both viciously assaulted and as I said, the robbery has occurred at knifepoint."
Police and paramedics were called at 3am Saturday after a passer-by heard a loud noise and discovered Mr English's body on the ground outside the View Pacific.
When police entered one of the apartments, they found four other teens, as young as 16, in varying states of consciousness.
They were taken to Robina Hospital for observation.
It is understood drug utensils and a large quantity of diazepam, or valium, was found in the room.
Members of the group reportedly filmed their antics leading up to the tragedy and broadcast them on social media sites including Instagram and Snapchat.
It is believed that a 16-year-old girl, who had been in the apartment above, filmed the violent exchange, where one of the men allegedly held a knife to one of the victims' throats.
The footage allegedly captures one of the girls commenting that he had gone over the balcony.
Det Supt Smith said police will allege that after Mr English fell, three men fled the apartment in an early model gold-coloured Toyota Camry. It was seen driving on the M1 shortly after 3am.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw the car, or who has dashcam footage, to come forward.
Police located and charged the three men later that day at various addresses across Brisbane and Logan. They are believed to have been "hotel shopping" in recent weeks, with no fixed address.
The men, aged 18, 20, and 22, will face a charge of murder and two charges of armed robbery in company. They were due to appear in court on Monday.
Det Supt Smith said police were also investigating whether the trio are responsible for a series of break-and- enters of chemists in the Coomera and Pimpama areas.
"We (will allege) that the drugs used were taken in those break-and-enters and that all persons in the premises were under the influence of drugs at the time," he said.
"This is a tragic circumstance that should not have happened. I think young people today need to understand there are serious consequences if you're going to take a knife anywhere or be involved in this sort of behaviour …
"It's a tragic outcome."
Friends of the teenager have begun to pay tribute to a young man "taken way too soon".
Friend Michael Fitzpatrick posted a picture on social media of a group of boys together, with the caption "soaring high brother".
Brittney Barnes wrote on Facebook, "Taken way too soon, rest easy Cian."
Police investigate a series of break-and-enters on chemists on the Gold Coast.
Two sets of young people, not known to each other, hold parties in apartments at the View Pacific Resort on View Ave, Surfers Paradise. One apartment is directly above the other and the two groups move between the apartments consuming prescription drugs.
SATURDAY , 3.15AM:
A passer-by hears a loud thud and finds Cian English's body outside the apartment building.
SATURDAY, after 3.15AM:
A gold Toyota Camry, believed to be carrying the three accused men, is seen driving along the M1.
Police arrest three men, aged 18, 20 and 22.
Trio charged with murder and armed robbery in company.
- Additional reporting by Chris McMahon
Originally published as Teen, friend 'viciously' attacked before fall: Police