Skateboarders, police clash at Dolores Park in San Francisco

- A San Francisco police officer and two skateboarders were injured Tuesday night during a clash in Dolores Park in San Francisco, where each side is blaming each other for the eruption of chaos.

The commotion happened shortly after 7 p.m. in what police are calling a "mob incident" at the park at 19th and Dolores streets, during an informal skating competition that turned confrontational. Several skateboaders and onlookers have been messaging KTVU on Instagram saying that it was the police who were the aggressors.

That's not how the police see it, though.

Police officer Robert Reuca told KTVU on Wednesday that between 200 to 400 people were watching a group of skateboarders when the event  turned violent. Two skateboarders wiped out on Dolores Street and had to go to the hospital. Some skaters said the first wipeout occurred when a police officer tried to stop one of the competitors as he rolled down the hill.

But Rueca said that the crowd surrounded one of the skateboarders and wouldn't allow police near him. In addition, Reuca said that someone used a skateboard to shatter the back windshield of a patrol car and another police car was vandalized. "Our officers had to defend ourselves from flying objects coming from the crowd."

"We tried to maintain the area and keep the crowd from creating more havoc in the neighborhood," Reuca said. "We did close off streets in the area to contain the incident. Skateboarders were flying down the hills. We feared for their safety as well as those of motorists."

Elias Bennett told KTVU on Wednesday morning he saw "dozens and dozens" of officers. There was a lot of "chanting" and "jeering," he said. "And skateboarders were everywhere."

 

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