A person has been arrested in connection to the death of a 17-year-old Kapiti man who was found unconscious in a car park north of Wellington early yesterday.
Minutes after Izak Millanta ran through a Paraparaumu alleyway into the darkness chased by two men, police found him unconscious at the back of KFC in the Coastlands Mall car park, with only a graze on his head.
Paramedics had to resuscitate him at the scene before rushing him to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition shortly after 3am yesterday.
He underwent emergency surgery and died at 2.30am today.
A 25-year-old man will appear in the Porirua District Court tomorrow charged with assault in relation to the death.
Police are still seeking witnesses to try and establish the events which led to Millanta being found.
The teenager's grandmother, Josephine Tukaki-Millanta, urged witnesses or anyone who knew information surrounding the death to "speak up".
"No one deserves to be bashed the way he did."
Detective Inspector Mike Johnson said police were unable to provide the cause of death at this stage.
A post-mortem examination was undertaken today.
Two areas cordoned
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.
Johnson said Millanta had been drinking and was involved in an altercation near Retro Bar before he was found unconscious.
"We are making inquiries in relation to CCTV footage and whether it covers the appropriate areas which may give us a clue."
Tukaki-Millanta said last night her grandson was on his way home from a friend's place when he was involved in an altercation.
Millanta was chased and then attacked, Tukaki-Millanta said. "There's a lot of internal injuries there."
Her grandson was a former pupil of 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.
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 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.
Anyone with any information should contact Kapiti Police on (04) 296 6800 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.