BOSTON (CBS) – A video posted on social media showing State Police arresting two skateboarders is causing controversy.
Police say the skaters were trespassing at a local skate park, but the skaters claim they thought the park was open late after new lights were installed.
Nestled under the Zakim Bridge, the $5M Lynch Family Skate Park opened three years ago this November. The lights flanking the park were installed back in August but went online last week. Many skaters WBZ-TV spoke to say it was known the park is off limits when the lights shut off at 9 p.m.
“Derek [Hanlon] was just asking questions like why can’t we skate here? The park is lit up the lights come off at 9 p.m. The Charles River Conservation [CRC] put out a tweet that we could skate here til 9 p.m.,” said Armin Bachman, owner of Orchard’s Skate Shop.
Hanlon is the man seen in a viral video being shoved to the ground by a Massachusetts State Police trooper. State Police say Hanlon was one of two people arrested on trespassing charges Sunday night. Police say the pair refused to leave the park after repeated requests to do so.
Many skaters say the video highlights the problems with community policing. “It looks pretty brutal the officer should’ve just told him to leave instead of arresting the man. There are other ways of dealing with people,” said Roberto, one of the many skaters out in the park Monday afternoon.
Bachman owns Orchard’s, an Allston skate shop. He says he was part of the team behind the vision of the park. The space is among the few that’s lit after dark and it’s become a destination for the skate community.
“From day one everyone had been asking for light because it’s New England everything gets dark at 4:30 p.m. in the winter time. And when the lights were finally put in last week everyone was celebrating and stoked,” said Bachman inside his Harvard Avenue business.
In a statement State Police said, “the park is a DCR property and per DCR rules the skate park closes at dusk as noted by a sign.” But in a tweet back in August, the Charles River Conservancy announced the installment of the lights inviting skaters to skate after dark in the fall.
“The lights were installed a month ago and turned on last week so it’s just mixed messaging they put lights in to not be able to skate? It’s just very confusing,” Bachman said.
The DCR tells WBZ-TV they’re working on installing new signs that reflect the park will stay open until 9 p.m.
Hanlon was treated at the hospital for minor injuries and is due back in court October 31st.