He was fined $157, and his board was confiscated as "evidence" for over a week. He had no idea that he was doing anything illegal because no signs are posted that prohibit skateboards in that area of the park, and the basketball court is right next to the frickin' skatepark.
This is pure harassment. In addition to the lack of notice, this skater was bothering no one. He even asked basketball players on the other court for permission before he began grinding. Police were told he had their permission, but that didn't matter.
At the time, I told you those charges should be taken from a basketball court to a real court because they would never stand up to scrutiny. Nazareth's finest, if they had any sense, would have dismissed the charges on their own motion.
But they refused, and when local attorney Gary Asteak heard the facts, he agreed to represent this young man.
At today's hearing, the case was quickly dismissed. Nazareth police had publicly argued we all have an affirmative obligation to familiarize ourselves with local park rules and regulations whenever we step foot inside a park. But attitudes change over time. And today, police "forgot" to produce a certified copy of the ordinance.
Asteak seized on this technicality, and the case was quickly blown out.
When I originally wrote about this incident, I was deeply concerned that police harassment would continue. But I was wrong. The skatepark has really changed skating patterns in the borough. And when goofy councilman Conrad Bowers arbitrarily decided to close the skatepark for a few hours this summer, it was actually police who spoke up for the kids. Acting police chief Alan Koch went toe to toe with Bowers, whose misguided decision to close the skatepark was quickly reversed.
I hope today's dismissal signals the end of Nazareth's bad skateboarding attitude. The young skateboarder who was cited won't be charged again anytime soon. He broke his ankle skateboarding.
At the skatepark.