Police officers and skateboarders clash at San Francisco’s Dolores Park
A renegade skateboarding event at a popular park in San Francisco’s Mission District turned into a rowdy standoff with police Tuesday night, with unruly crowds throwing beer bottles and skateboards at officers in riot gear, authorities said.
The confrontation began shortly after 7 p.m., when police were called to Dolores Park to aid an injured skateboarder, said San Francisco Police Officer Grace Gatpandan.
Roughly 300 onlookers had crowded the park to watch skateboarders who had taken control of a steep street zoom down the hill.
While the rider was being treated, another skateboarder raced down the pavement and crashed into a police sergeant. The impact sent the rider flying over a patrol car that was partially blocking the street toward the bottom of the hill.
Videos posted on Twitter show the sergeant standing in the street as riders speed down the hill. As one rider weaves down the street, he and the officer collide and the skateboarder tumbles through a crosswalk.
A group of people then crowd around the skateboarder, some shouting at the police.
“Dude, a cop just (messed) him up,” one person says.
People on social media accused the officer of deliberately standing in the rider’s path. The sergeant appears to walk away after the moment of impact, though Gatpandan said Tuesday that he was taken to the hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
A police spokesperson could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Gatpandan said skateboarders turned hostile toward police and more officers were called to the scene to gain control of the crowd spilling into the street.
Vandals tagged two police cruisers with graffiti and smashed one of their windows.
Two skateboarders, along with the police sergeant, were taken to the hospital with unknown injuries, she said. Police shut down the park, and after nearly three hours, the crowds broke up without a dispersal order.
No one was arrested during the confrontation, Gatpandan added. The investigation is ongoing.
Police on Twitter had warned the public to stay away from the area due to “continued police activity” and traffic delays.
Follow me on Twitter @AleneTchek
6:30 pm.: This article was updated to include details about videos posted on Twitter.
5:27 p.m.: This article was updated with details from another video taken at the event.
This article was originally published on June 11 at 10:50 p.m.
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