Arrest Me. I’m A Skateboarder

Damn. The streets are tough these days. Going skating is starting to feel like guerrilla warfare¿getting chased by security guards, battling paranoid pedestrians, dodging street lurkers, or even getting thrown in jail. “Run, skate, chill. Keeps you on point,” as Stevie Williams says. Everyone who skates has some crazy story about their latest adventure. So, it’s about time we put some of this ruckus down on paper, right?¿Shad

Josh Kalis Versus The SFPD I was with these two kids in San Francisco called the Russian Twins, and it had just finished raining. We were walking through Embarcadero, and there was a lone patch of dry cement on the small three stairs. One of the twins was so psyched, he gets down and does a kickflip as a joke. Next thing you know, this little prick cop comes running up, snatches the dude’s board, and starts handcuffing him. So I’m like, “What are you doing, man? He can’t skate, it’s all wet. He just threw his board down as a joke.”

Then he asks me, “Do you want to get locked up, too?” So I was like forget it, and asked the cop where he was taking him. He took him to the Chinatown police station, so me and his brother walked all the way there. When we went inside I asked how to get him out, and they told us to call his mom at the pay phone across the street.

All right, so me and his brother walk across the street to the pay phone. Immediately after hanging up the phone with the kids mom, the cop comes out and lets the brother go and tells me to wait. He comes over and starts telling me he let my friend go, but I look like a punk with my hat on backward and I’m getting arrested. I was like, “What do you got me for?”

He says, “Jaywalking, from the police station to the pay phone.”

“Jaywalking?” Put your hands behind your back!” So then I was like, “F¿k you!” and spit right in his face and started running! So as I’m running down the street, I hear him drop his walkie-talkie and fall. I just dropped my board and was out, but I had these Sal Barbier shoes with extra tongues, the “stay puff” tongues, and my shoe flew off. Then it seemed like it was a setup, too, because when I got the end of the block, there were cops on every corner. There was nowhere to go except for this Walgreens across the street.

So I run into this Walgreens, into the back, thinkin’ there’s like a pharmacy where I could find an exit, but there was nothin’! Then I hear everyone in the front of store going, “He’s back there!” I ducked down this aisle, and I could see the cops going down the aisle right next to me. Then I look at the front door and there’re no cops there. So I was like boom! Start casually going to the front and everyone’s lookin’ at me all crazy, ’cause I only got one shoe on, right? And I remember this next part so clear … I was ten feet from the door, and there was this big-ass white dude with this big blue puffy jacket, just some regular dude, but he was staring at me. I knew he was going to play hero, so I just start running and tried to like football maneuver away. He just grabs me and puts me in a backward headlock and starts kneeing me in my stomach. By that time all the cops are on me.

After the cops get me all handcuffed and shake each other’s hands and stuff, the cop that I spit on is walking me back to the police station. He’s got my middle finger in his hand and every couple feet he goes, “You’re walking too fast!” and bending my finger, f¿king my finger up¿telling me he was going to break it. Then I was like, “At least let me get my shoe,” and he just says, “What shoe?” as we walk right by it. Then to top it off, when he handcuffed me to the bench inside the police station to book me, he looked to see if there’s anybody around, and just socked me right in my eye.

I ended up just doing twelve hours in jail, got out at six in the morning, went to court at nine in the morning, and my case was dismissed. But the funniest shit was when I was in jl with one shoe, everyone was laughing, like, “Yo, you went for it, but they still got you!”¿as told to Shad

Ryan Johnson Versus Fresno Rent-A-Jokes There’s this three-level underground parking garage in Fresno that we always bomb down. And there’s this security guard in this van¿everyone knows about the white van that’s there to get skateboarders. Once you see it, you’re just gone. We call him the Rent-A-Joke; he always ends up chasing us all the way down these three levels. We always let him catch all the way up to us and ride right behind our ass, because he doesn’t get out of the van unless he has us pretty much cornered. So he always thinks he has us cornered when we got to the bottom of the underground, but we go right to the elevator and we’re just gone. It’s so funny, though, because we just watch the doors close and wave bye to him. He can never catch us, and he always has to drive all the way back up.

One time my buddy Uly was in last place on the way down, trying tricks, and almost got run down by the guy. It was gnarly. The guy in the van fully tried to run him down. He fell and ran for his board and got out of the way right before the van smacked him. Running from this security guard, just bombing this hill, it’s so funny ’cause it’s like a real joyride, you know? We pretty much want him to chase us. We’ve never been caught for it. It’s still fool-proof to this day.¿as told to Shad

Chris Lambert Versus UCSD Campus Cops This one time it was me, Alphonso, Chany, and probably fifteen other people, just a whole crew skating at UCSD. We were skating that nine-stair ledge¿then the cops rolled up, and we all just kind of took off. Then I guess I was the one who stuck out to them, so five of these UCSD rental cops rushed me. I was just running, and they were on bikes, and they had billy clubs and shit. This guy tackled me to the ground, football style, then put a billy club to the back of my head. He was pushing my neck into the ground, telling me I was doing something illegal, yelling, “What the hell are you doing here!”

I guess they’re so strict because some guy hit his head and died there a year before. Some guy who was skating late at night just fell and hit his head or somethin’. So it’s like a big deal to skate there. They ended up throwing me in this holding cell for like four hours. It was funny, because the cops who caught me kept on walking by and giving me like a smile kind of thing¿they were f¿king with me. They charged me with resisting arrest from campus police and skateboarding. They gave me a 100-dollar ticket and slapped me with 80 hours of community service, which was a joke. I went to the Encinitas YMCA to do my community service and pretty much just skated. I was the guy who painted the vert ramp and would just skate. It was cool, too. I would go there, sign in, then just take off. Come back like five hours later.¿as told to Shad

Kerry Getz Versus Love Park Undercover They have these undercover cops who creep through Love Park. They’re dressed like normal dudes you know, they look normal. Then they walk up to you and just grab you. There’s always like two or three of ’em. They kind of just hide out and stare at you and stuff, but most skaters will recognize them. Then everybody yells “Five-0” and we run.

So one day I was skating Love with a bunch of people, and the undercovers were coming. I saw this one guy walking up toward me, so I hopped on my board and pushed across Love. He started running after me, and I was looking back sayin’, “What are you doin’! What are you doin’!” because he was trying to tackle me. So I skated out in middle of the road down the yellow line, and he’s still chasing me. Then I started swerving in and out of cars. He chased me so far down the road! I kind of got a downhill, so I had the advantage. He was just out if it, out of breath. I ended up getting away.

But this other day we were running from the undercovers and thought we got away. We hid out for a while, then I ended up accidentally skating right by two undercovers busting these two other kids. They grabbed me and gave me a ticket, 25 bucks, but it can go as high as 300.¿as told to Shad

Paul Macnau Versus Urban Cowboy My hometown, Cranbrook, is this super small hick town. We were skating a ledge at this church, and a huge six-foot-four cowboy-looking guy comes walking along. He starts yelling at my friend, saying, “You can’t be skateboarding on God’s land!” and just being an asshole. I think he was just some crazy guy. So I skated by because I was wondering what was going on. The guy looks at me and just gives me a huge push. I go flying onto my back, and I didn’t know what the hell was going on. So I stood up, grabbed my board by the front truck, winded up, swung my board as hard as I could, and corked this guy right in the chest. The guy went flying back like four feet, totally stunned. I really shocked the hell out of the guy. Then he came at me again, so I picked up my skateboard and he stopped instantly. Then he lifted up his hands in the fighting position. I noticed his hands were all bloody, so I must have totally cut him with my griptape. He started coming at me again, and I’d lift up my skateboard and he’d back off. He started just screaming at me. There were two other guys with me, and we kind of surrounded him. He could have taken us all, but we had skateboards so he wasn’t going to start anything. He ended up just screaming at us and took off. So we decided we’d better get out of there.¿as told to Shad

APB for Arto Saari I’ve never run into a cop in Finland who has a problem. I’ve talked to them a couple times, but they don’t care about skateboarders at all. They just look at it like kids playing around¿they don’t care. I already knew about how it was over here, so I knew what to expect. It didn’t make me feel any better about it, though, every time you run into a cop and get a ticket or something. I’ve only gotten two tickets, actually. One was in Canada, and I probably have a warrant over there. Colin McKay, Paul Macnau, Rick McCrank, and I were at street spot in Calgary, and we got tickets. It was a court order¿we were supposed to go to court the next day. But we had a demo to do, so we didn’t go there and just shined the whole thing. They haven’t been busted yet, though, so I guess I’m okay. The other ticket was at El Toro. The cops were being assholes about it because Ty was filming with his lights and everything. The cops were like, “Who do you film for?” They pretty much knew what was going on. Asked us if we were professionals, so we just had to lie about it. We were like, “No, we’re just skating for the hell of it.” But Ty had a hard time explaining all the lights and stuff like that. The ticket was like 60 bucks, trespassing or something.¿as told to Shad

Jeremy Wray Versus SFPD We were at EMB one day and there was a cop car parked in there. But there was no cop in the car, so we ended up skating it for hours. Then the cops ended up ambushing us. They came in from every entrance, so we had to find a way out. We climbed up this wall and went over the Gonz, then we hopped on our boards and heard this crazy noise behind us. I turned around, and there was this cop car skidding around the corner through some gravel, flying straight at me. I guess he was trying to run me over, so I jumped off my board. He ran over my board with the front tire, then parked on my board with the back tire. So I had to run without my board to get away. I never saw my board again.

So I ran back over the Gonz and through EMB and hooked back up with everyone. We were running down the street and deciding where to go. We got to this one corner, and there was a cop car sitting there, but we didn’t know if they were looking for us or not. Then the cop ends up running the red light to the corner we were at. One of te undercovers and thought we got away. We hid out for a while, then I ended up accidentally skating right by two undercovers busting these two other kids. They grabbed me and gave me a ticket, 25 bucks, but it can go as high as 300.¿as told to Shad

Paul Macnau Versus Urban Cowboy My hometown, Cranbrook, is this super small hick town. We were skating a ledge at this church, and a huge six-foot-four cowboy-looking guy comes walking along. He starts yelling at my friend, saying, “You can’t be skateboarding on God’s land!” and just being an asshole. I think he was just some crazy guy. So I skated by because I was wondering what was going on. The guy looks at me and just gives me a huge push. I go flying onto my back, and I didn’t know what the hell was going on. So I stood up, grabbed my board by the front truck, winded up, swung my board as hard as I could, and corked this guy right in the chest. The guy went flying back like four feet, totally stunned. I really shocked the hell out of the guy. Then he came at me again, so I picked up my skateboard and he stopped instantly. Then he lifted up his hands in the fighting position. I noticed his hands were all bloody, so I must have totally cut him with my griptape. He started coming at me again, and I’d lift up my skateboard and he’d back off. He started just screaming at me. There were two other guys with me, and we kind of surrounded him. He could have taken us all, but we had skateboards so he wasn’t going to start anything. He ended up just screaming at us and took off. So we decided we’d better get out of there.¿as told to Shad

APB for Arto Saari I’ve never run into a cop in Finland who has a problem. I’ve talked to them a couple times, but they don’t care about skateboarders at all. They just look at it like kids playing around¿they don’t care. I already knew about how it was over here, so I knew what to expect. It didn’t make me feel any better about it, though, every time you run into a cop and get a ticket or something. I’ve only gotten two tickets, actually. One was in Canada, and I probably have a warrant over there. Colin McKay, Paul Macnau, Rick McCrank, and I were at street spot in Calgary, and we got tickets. It was a court order¿we were supposed to go to court the next day. But we had a demo to do, so we didn’t go there and just shined the whole thing. They haven’t been busted yet, though, so I guess I’m okay. The other ticket was at El Toro. The cops were being assholes about it because Ty was filming with his lights and everything. The cops were like, “Who do you film for?” They pretty much knew what was going on. Asked us if we were professionals, so we just had to lie about it. We were like, “No, we’re just skating for the hell of it.” But Ty had a hard time explaining all the lights and stuff like that. The ticket was like 60 bucks, trespassing or something.¿as told to Shad

Jeremy Wray Versus SFPD We were at EMB one day and there was a cop car parked in there. But there was no cop in the car, so we ended up skating it for hours. Then the cops ended up ambushing us. They came in from every entrance, so we had to find a way out. We climbed up this wall and went over the Gonz, then we hopped on our boards and heard this crazy noise behind us. I turned around, and there was this cop car skidding around the corner through some gravel, flying straight at me. I guess he was trying to run me over, so I jumped off my board. He ran over my board with the front tire, then parked on my board with the back tire. So I had to run without my board to get away. I never saw my board again.

So I ran back over the Gonz and through EMB and hooked back up with everyone. We were running down the street and deciding where to go. We got to this one corner, and there was a cop car sitting there, but we didn’t know if they were looking for us or not. Then the cop ends up running the red light to the corner we were at. One of the guys who was with us got tackled by the cop and was down on the ground, and the cop was roughing him up a little bit, had his knee in his back and cuffing him. We were all hesitating, thinking about pushing the cop off, but there was another cop still in the car, and you can’t really get into a battle with a cop, you gotta let it go.

So everyone finally started running the other way. We were running down this one-way street behind these other guys, and this cop is chasing us. So I figure he can’t turn around because it’s a one-way street. So I turned the other way and started to run, then the cop throws it in reverse and does a half-Cab screech like in the movies. Did the turn-around skid and chased me going the wrong way on a one-way street! I was running full speed, dashed all crooked through an intersection, and ended up hiding behind a pillar, trying to figure out what to do. All the guys from San Francisco went down to the BART, and got away, but the rest of us didn’t know where to go.

As soon as I walked out, there was a cop car creeping around the corner. But I didn’t have a board, so I figured he wouldn’t be after me. He pulls up next me and is like, “Where’s your board at?” and I was like, “It’s way back there.” and he told me to go get it. The cop ran over it like five blocks away then tells me to go get it, so I start heading that direction. Then the cop just tells me to get back over there. I got handcuffed and thrown in the back of the car with Josh’s Kalis friend. They took us downtown and took our shoelaces and belts and everything, then they put us into a holding cell. That’s when we found out that Josh Kalis had gotten caught, too. They got three of us. We were put in a holding cell overnight with all the drunks and stuff. We had just missed the dinner, too, so we didn’t get anything to eat. They ended up letting us out at like three in the morning, but we had to walk through all these ghetto areas like eight miles back to EMB where my car was. They wrote us up tickets, and we were supposed to come back to San Francisco, but they ended up just dropping the charges. It was crazy.¿as told to Shad

of the guys who was with us got tackled by the cop and was down on the ground, and the cop was roughing him up a little bit, had his knee in his back and cuffing him. We were all hesitating, thinking about pushing the cop off, but there was another cop still in the car, and you can’t really get into a battle with a cop, you gotta let it go.

So everyone finally started running the other way. We were running down this one-way street behind these other guys, and this cop is chasing us. So I figure he can’t turn around because it’s a one-way street. So I turned the other way and started to run, then the cop throws it in reverse and does a half-Cab screech like in the movies. Did the turn-around skid and chased me going the wrong way on a one-way street! I was running full speed, dashed all crooked through an intersection, and ended up hiding behind a pillar, trying to figure out what to do. All the guys from San Francisco went down to the BART, and got away, but the rest of us didn’t know where to go.

As soon as I walked out, there was a cop car creeping around the corner. But I didn’t have a board, so I figured he wouldn’t be after me. He pulls up next me and is like, “Where’s your board at?” and I was like, “It’s way back there.” and he told me to go get it. The cop ran over it like five blocks away then tells me to go get it, so I start heading that direction. Then the cop just tells me to get back over there. I got handcuffed and thrown in the back of the car with Josh’s Kalis friend. They took us downtown and took our shoelaces and belts and everything, then they put us into a holding cell. That’s when we found out that Josh Kalis had gotten caught, too. They got three of us. We were put in a holding cell overnight with all the drunks and stuff. We had just missed the dinner, too, so we didn’t get anything to eat. They ended up letting us out at like three in the morning, but we had to walk through all these ghetto areas like eiight miles back to EMB where my car was. They wrote us up tickets, and we were supposed to come back to San Francisco, but they ended up just dropping the charges. It was crazy.¿as told to Shad