VIDEO: Skateboarder collides with officer during melee

Thursday, July 13, 2017 12:10PM
Video shows a police officer and a skateboarder colliding on Dolores Street Tuesday night during an informal skateboarding competition that drew hundreds of people to the Dolores Park.

SAN FRANCISCO - A major wipeout happened Tuesday night as skateboarders sped downhill in unpermitted street races at Dolores Park. The editor of a skateboarding magazine took a nasty spill and ended up needing staples in his head.

VIDEO: Skateboarder collides with SFPD officer near Dolores Park
Video shows skateboarder collide with SFPD officer near Dolores Park

Police say emergency crews couldn't get through to help him. Witnesses called police complaining of skateboarders grabbing onto cars for a lift up the hill. When officers arrived they say the crowd started throwing things at them.

One witness reported seeing them hurling cans of Red Bull and food but thought the riot gear was excessive.

"I saw skateboarders going down the sidewalk and the street, and they were just having fun, screaming hollering and laughing, cheering each other on," said witness Dina Boyer.

"It's unlawful to prevent medical personnel from responding to the scene. It's unlawful to travel down the street in the wrong direction of traffic," said San Francisco Police Officer Grace Gatpandan. "There were bottles thrown at officers, skateboards that were being thrown at patrol cars to break the windows."

RELATED: Skateboarders clash with San Francisco police near Dolores Park

Later, a skateboarder collided with an officer and then flipped over the patrol car. Both were hurt - the officer with shoulder injuries.

The injured skateboarder left without giving a statement. Some criticized the officer on social media for appearing to put his elbow in front of the speeding skateboarder.

"There's a lot of information out there that we need to look at," said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott. "There's a lot of videos and we also have body cam videos that we need to sort through."

Although there were no arrests, the clash came up at a police commission meeting. The investigation into the incident is just ramping up.

Police ramp up investigation of skateboarding clash at Dolores park

Police say they tried to offer aid to the skater but couldn't find him in the crowd.

One nearby resident heard what was happening but didn't want to go outside.

"Skateboarders brought out a huge force of cops it was fascinating," she said.

Two police cars were damaged with graffiti and a broken window.

"It bothered me that the police car was trashed - excessive not necessary at all that disturbed me," one witness said.

There was one major injury. A skater almost makes it down the hill before crashing. Witnesses say he was motionless and bleeding. Police say he was taken to the hospital, but was expected to survive.

"I was just concerned for the guy that was injured. It looked pretty fun but dangerous at the same time," another witness said.
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