DTLA – People who live and work in Downtown Los Angeles are familiar with the skateboarders who frequent the area. Many cruise down sidewalks on their way to a destination. Some gather in groups and do tricks off walls or ledges, occasionally chronicling their acts on video.
Police say another group of skateboarders is causing trouble in the Central City, and that in several instances building security guards were attacked. In response to these and other incidents, the LAPD’s Central Division is stepping up enforcement against skateboarders for trespassing and vandalizing private property.
LAPD Capt. Scott Harrelson stressed that this is an enforcement posture for Central Division, and not an overall anti-skateboarding policy. Central officer Frank Martinez noted that most area skateboarders, probably 90%, don’t cause any trouble and adhere to requests from police and security guards.
Still, Harrelson said that the number of complaints and incidents has been escalating. He added that frequently officers called to a disturbance ask skaters to leave, and they comply. It’s a small number of people who are causing the problems, he added.
“In those types of situations, those confrontational individuals will be cited for trespassing,” Harrelson said.
Skateboarders can cause damage to area walls and stairways as a result of grinding and landing jumps, Officer Sylvia Padilla said. There has also been vandalism, including a few instances of damaging new wooden benches.
Skateboarders have long been a presence in Downtown. They come to Bunker Hill because “it’s a good place to shred,” according to Brian Raboin, vice president of operations for the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, which conducts safety patrols and works frequently with the LPAD.
He echoed the…