Slain personal trainer's friends hope for arrest in London homicide

Friends of a popular personal trainer who died in a fight on Richmond Row after celebrating his- writes

Dereck Szaflarski, 27, died after getting into a fight with another man near Richmond and Piccadilly streets on Saturday around 2:30 a.m. after leaving a nearby bar.

Though investigators released a grainy photo of the suspect, no arrests have been made four days after Szaflarski became the city’s third homicide of the year.

Breana Bielak, a close friend of Szaflarski, says his killer needs to be brought to justice.

“Someone else is out there walking around while someone who was loved by so many is sitting in a morgue,” she said. “It’s not fair.”

Friends say Szaflarski was stabbed, but police haven’t confirmed how he died.

“While the autopsy is complete, we won’t have the information into the cause of death until the analysis is complete,” Const. Sandasha Bough said, referring to coroner’s analysis.

Originally from Michigan, Szaflarski went to high school in Chatham before moving to London, where he worked as a personal trainer at GoodLife Fitness at 635 Southdale Rd.

“He was always the life of the party,” Bielak said. “He was an incredible person in every way.”

Szaflarski spent Saturday at a Richmond Row patio before leaving for a friend’s house and later returning to a different downtown bar. He was walking home with a female friend when he got into the fight, Bielak said.

The suspect, who police say fled the scene in two-door white Nissan Altima, is described as having a brown or light-skinned black complexion, with a heavy build, six feet or taller. He was wearing blue jeans, a dark T-shirt, black running shoes with white soles and a camouflage-patterned Toronto Blue Jays baseball cap.

Bough renewed her appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

“If anybody recognizes the vehicle involved, or they have any information at all that could assist us in the investigation, they can give us a call,” she said.

An online fundraiser launched Saturday to pay for Szaflarski’s funeral surpassed its $10,000 goal Tuesday.

A makeshift memorial set up where emergency responders found Szaflarski on the sidewalk at Richmond and Piccadilly continues to draw mourners, including people who’d never met him.

Bielak, 25, visits the site every day, even though she says it’s hard to see the spot where her best friend died.

“It gives me so much warmth seeing how many people cared and how many people stopped and tell me stories about him and how great he was.” she said of Szaflarski, adding plans for a celebration of life are in the works.

The funeral is Saturday at 5 p.m. at Harrison Funeral Home.

London police have a perfect homicide clearance rate over the past nine years. The city’s last unsolved homicide is from 2009, with just three homicides investigations still open from the past two decades.

Read more news of London on our site.
arrestinLondonhomicide Slainpersonaltrainer
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

London City Airport is going to fine airlines for breaching noise limits after a surge in complaints from residents.  The airport, based in the Royal Docks, has launched a “penalty and incentive” scheme for planes breaching its rules, and will name and shame them online. Bosses revealed the airport had seen a spike in complaints since launching concentrated flight paths in February 2016. The paths were changed after new air traffic control technology was b...
The Crossrail delay will cost Transport for London almost £200 million next year in lost revenue, the Standard has learned. Latest calculations suggest the expected nine-month delay to the completion of the Elizabeth Line, first revealed in August, will cost the cash-strapped body almost £550,000-a-day.  TfL, which has a deficit of around £1bn, has told the London Assembly it will miss out on £170million income from passenger fares and up to £20million in...
Motorists who park in cycle lanes in one of London’s “Mini Holland” boroughs could have their residents’ parking permits revoked, council chiefs warned today. A crackdown on illegal parking has been launched by Waltham Forest council amid growing anger at the way some drivers are blocking the new routes.  They are being introduced under a £30 million initiative to encourage walking and cycling by building Dutch-style segregated routes, including a three-mi...
‘Only a bloody stark raving alcoholic is bloody drunk at 1.30pm in the afternoon,’ says Air India pilot. A senior Air India pilot was grounded after he failed breathalyser tests shortly before a flight from New Delhi to London on Sunday. Arvind Kathpalia, who is responsible for safety at the airline as operations director, denied drinking on the job and said he would contest the results of the alcohol checks. “It was 1.30pm in the afternoon, only a bloody...
‘It was painful for me – it made me feel like I shouldn’t really be living’. Nearly half of school pupils have heard friends use language that is discriminatory or negative towards LGBT+ students, research finds.   More than one in three (35 per cent) young people have been called gay or lesbian as an insult, according to the new survey from The Diana Award charity. The poll, of children aged between 11 and 16, found that nearly half of young people (43 pe...
A 15-year-old girl has been critically injured and 19 other people hurt as a double-decker London bus collided with two vehicles and hit a bus shelter. The bus collided with a car, a single-decker bus and hit a shelter at West Croydon bus station at about 12:20 GMT. The driver of the 198 Arriva double-decker bus was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs. London Ambulance Service said 18 people were taken to hospital. A Metropolitan...
Britain fell silent at 11am on Sunday to mark 100 years since the end of World War One. The Prince of Wales lead the tributes, laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of his mother for the second year in a row, while an equerry laid a wreath on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh. Ten thousand people took part in a procession past the Cenotaph following the wreath laying. Events took place across the UK and Europe to mark the centenary of the Armistice, when...
A couple are using the money they earn selling Christmas trees to celebrities to fund their humanitarian work abroad. Eilidh McRae and Séan Mclaughlin, both 38, work at Pines & Needles, the favoured Christmas tree shop of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle , football manager José Mourinho, actor Russell Tovey and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson . The couple are back working in London this week after volunteering in Indonesia following the Sulawesi tsunami whic...
A planned 24-hour strike on London Underground's Piccadilly Line on Wednesday has been called off. But Tube passengers will still suffer disruption because of a walkout on the Central Line. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on the Piccadilly Line, which links central London to Heathrow Airport, were due to strike from noon on Wednesday. The union said it was suspending the action after progress was made in talks in a dispute over indu...