Dolores Park skateboard event ends in confrontation

An unpermitted downhill skateboarding event near Dolores Park turned confrontational Tuesday night after police arrived to secure the scene and provide traffic enforcement.

More than 400 people gathered at the event, which had no official name but was called by at least one skateboard website as the “Fastest Hill Bomb Contest SF,” and left an officer and at least one skateboarder injured.

But Tuesday’s event — much of which was captured on video and posted online, specifically a downhill skateboarder colliding with a police officer — made headlines after footage surfaced of a skateboarder coming into contact with an officer before crashing into a police car. It’s unclear if the collision was an accident or caused by the officer, but people in the video could be heard saying it was the officer’s fault.

Police were called to the scene near 19th and Dolores streets at around 5 p.m. after a skateboarder had been injured, said Officer Robert Rueca, a department spokesperson. The crowd did not let officers help that individual and refused to disperse after police told them they were illegally gathered.

“We met further resistance from the crowd, who appeared to become hostile,” Rueca said. “Projectiles were thrown at us.”

In addition to the crowd throwing things at police, one skateboarder allegedly broke the rear window of a radio car, which was also vandalized.

The collision that was caught on video sent the officer to the hospital, Rueca said. The skateboarder refused medical aid.

Several witnesses posted videos after the event stating that the officer had pushed or deliberately bumped the skateboarder, who fell and was injured.

Twitter user Joel Hamill posted a video of the incident, saying, “#sfpolice purposely push skateboarder into car causing serious injury.”

The event, a race that was reportedly sponsored last year by Snack Skateboards and Skate Jawn, among others, took place last July with less conflict, according to witness and published accounts.

Videos posted online show skaters racing down Dolores Street with police standing by and even blocking traffic to facilitate.

Attempts to reach Snack Skateboards for comment Wednesday morning were unsuccessful.

For safety reasons, police blocked traffic in two directions until about 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

The collision, vandalism and unlawful assembly are under investigation. Police are uncertain who organized the event.

“We are still trying to make contact with them,” Rueca said. “We still don’t know who organized this.”

No arrests were made in connection with the event.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Jonah Owen Lamb
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Jonah Owen Lamb

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