The skateboarders, most of whom were cited for not wearing helmets, can avoid a fine by taking a city class and staying out of the park for 12 weeks.
Patterson Police Services received an anonymous call just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday notifying police that several people in the new Patterson Skate Park were skating without helmets, Sgt. John Walker said.
When deputies arrived, they counted more than 20 skaters without helmets and chased after a trio leaving the park toward the nearby McDonald’s restaurant at Ward and Sperry avenues, he said. After they wrote citations for those skateboarders, they returned to the skate park to write another 10 citations for the remaining skaters for failing to use helmets.
Outside of two diversion citations written to two skaters who got into a fight a week ago, this is the first time that citations have been handed out since the skate park reopened Sept. 16, Walker said. Police have been stopping by routinely to remind skaters to use their helmets, he said.
All skaters, regardless of age, must wear helmets inside the park, according to Patterson Municipal Code. Violators cited by police are placed into a mandatory diversion program that carries a 12-week suspension from the park and requires a class administered by the Patterson Chief of Police to be completed. Failure to complete the diversion program can result in a suspension from the park for one year. A second violation of park rules including helmet use can carry a $100 fine and a third or more carries a $250 fine.
Walker said there is no excuse for not wearing a helmet, as Patterson’s Parks and Recreation Department has more than 100 helmets on hand to be checked out from the Hammon Senior Center across the parking lot in the same complex.