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Three weeks ago, this instagram video caught our eye when we saw a young 19 year old skateboarder being thrown to the ground by parks officials. Officially, skateboarding is not allowed in Washington Square Park according to the corresponding rule: Section 1-05(r)(3) No person shall roller skate, ski, skateboard, sled or coast on any kind of vehicle except in areas designated and maintained for such use. But we all know how much that stops us from skating somewhere we want to…

Originally posted by instagram user @bennyneedles, the video starts as most of these type of videos do: the instant when the altercation is at it’s climax with no build up to relate to how we got here. The Bowery Boogie reported on it too but was unsure what happened. With the background information lacking we reached out to both the 19 year old skater @cozykillz, and the parks department to get to the bottom of what happened.

After a few calls, we got through to Crystal Howard, the Director of media relations for NYC Parks. Crystal told us that the skater in question was a part of a larger group. Following protocol, the Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) instructed the group to stop skateboarding in the park and told them to leave; two of which complied, the third did not. He responded with vulgar language and aggressively approaching the on duty Sergeant. He was then detained and arrested by the PEP officers.

Basically, if you’re gonna mouth off in the streets, you tend to get what’s coming to you. But is that what really happened, or did they go too far?

Now, coming from a law enforcement point of view, that makes sense. If you’re doing your job and someone gets aggressive and disobedient after you warned them, then the situation escalates until you can regain control. Basically, if you’re gonna mouth off in the streets, you tend to get what’s coming to you. But is that what really happened, or did they go too far? We reached out to @cozykillz for his side.

After a couple texts and calls, we linked up with @cozykillz on the phone last week. He told us that him and his friends were going out to film for a promo at Washington Square Park.

“We skated into the park and got off our boards as we got to the center of the park. They stopped us as we were coming into the park. The parks officers asked us for ID and when I said for what, they said what you mean for what and bumped his chest into me”

@cozykillz said the sergeant was the one who started being aggressive with him and the video on instagram started right after the official bumped into him.

As for what happens after the video cuts off, the stories are similar on both sides, save for a few details that remain unclear. Howard reported to us that the NYPD was called over the radio, and took him to the local precinct. The 19 year old skater goes a little more into detail.

“The parks department didn’t transfer me to NYPD. They had me cuffed on the ground and I heard them saying what do we do? We don’t have anything to hold him on.”

The official who tackled me even offered to give me a ride back to the park.

They apparently figured it out later because he was released and received two summonses – Failure to Comply and Disorderly Conduct. The 19 year old is in good spirits and is waiting to hear back from Lawyer to see if he has a case to prosecute. When I asked him was it was like when then had him detained he was in somewhat disbelief of the Sergeant who he claims switched behavior from being aggressive to polite.

“The official who tackled me even offered to give me a ride back to the park,” @cozykills remarked.  

No matter what, it sucks to see people getting into situations like this and if you can avoid it you should. We definitely don’t want to see skaters being manhandled for whatever reason, especially if it’s unprovoked or unwarranted. If you’re unsure of how to handle yourself, check Jenkem’s guide to getting arrested.

Leave a comment below with your opinion on which side is right. If you have something you’d like us to look into or have any cases where you feel like you were wronged by city officials simply for skateboarding, shoot an email to [email protected]