Tensions high after SFPD clashes with skaters

- Tensions are still running high between San Francisco Police and skateboarders after new video has surfaced of a street race near Dolores park that turned ugly.

KTVU video first brought you video last night showing a skateboarder wiping out at the annual fastest hill bomb contest at Dolores Park.

Another angle, from Instagram video posted by famous skateboarder Corey Duffel, reveals that the officer does not budge when the skater comes barreling down the hill.

The video has sparked controversy about whether the officer intentionally tried to hurt the skater or if it was an accident. SFPD says it is investigating.

"I think it was as intentional as hell, like I think the [officer is] a punk for doing it," said Sean Carabarin, an avid skateboarder, who told KTVU the officer clearly juts out his elbow right before the skater approaches him.

Melissa Porras lives across the street from Dolores Park and said the scene here last night was chaotic and rowdy. "It was pretty crazy," she said. "So I feel like it looks a little intentional and I think there's some ego involved here on both sides."

The injured skater is a 17-year-old boy named Anthiiny who Duffel says is now undergoing knee, ankle and leg surgery as a result of the crash.

Carabarin thinks the whole thing could have been avoided.

"The way cops showed up and tried to bogart the whole thing like, granted they have to do their job to protect the safety of other people, but I kind of think that they took it way too far," said Carabarin.

SFPD Officer Robert Rueca declined an on-camera interview but told KTVU by phone that officers "took a defensive stance against skateboarders" and that out of safety concerns for skateboarders and motorists, "We closed off streets in the area to contain the incident. Skateboarders were flying down the hills."

Another Instagram video posted by rawwmos shows a scuffle between a skater and an officer.

While we don't know what led up to the confrontation, the officer appears to push the man.
"It felt like a roller coaster ride," said Porras.

Last year's race was a peaceful one where police kept their distance, but this year, witnesses say the crowd was shouting, jeering and throwing beer bottles at officers.

At least two police cars were damaged, one of them by a skater, who police say used his skateboard to smash the back windshield of a patrol car.

"There were dangerous moments," admitted Porras, who was with her young son at the time. The officer involved in the collision was treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Another skateboarder, not involved in the collision, was injured during the competition.

Skaters told KTVU that they often feel vilified by police and the public. We asked Carabarin why skateboarders felt it was ok to take over part of a city street.

"Well, actually we CAN we do it," he replied, citing protesters who at times paralyze city streets while police cordon off several blocks. We asked if skateboarders might consider getting a permit for the event.

Who knows?" said Carabarin. "It's skateboarding. It's kind of one of those things where it's - it's an organic thing. I think the city should just learn to respect it because it's not going anywhere. But yeah, we might consider something like a permit."

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