Three Tehachapi skateboarders believed they were helping when they apparently jumped the fence at Ollie Mountain Skate Park and took it upon themselves to begin shoveling snow from the park.
But the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District, which owns the skate park, said the three were trespassing. The facility has been closed for safety reasons since Saturday's storm which brought about four inches of snow.
The three — one adult and two juveniles — were arrested by Tehachapi Police around 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, for trespassing on the skate park.
The adult arrested was Kyle Huddleston, 23, who posted on Facebook that the three were concerned that extended exposure to the snow would damage the park’s wooden ramps.
However, according to TVRPD District Manager Matt Young, the ramps are covered with a highly fragile and expensive composite material known as Skatelite, which is why members from TVRPD have not used shovels to remove snow from the ramps themselves.
“It’s not only a safety concern for the public, but also our maintenance staff,” Maintenance Foreman Mike Walsh said, noting that many of the ramps are steep and still covered with ice.
Huddleston also wrote on the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District’s Facebook page on Monday, Dec. 9, that the reason he and the two youths were in the park was “in an attempt to save the already horrible wood” on the ramps.
TVRPD responded to Huddleston’s Facebook comment, noting that the park was closed due to unsafe conditions and would remain closed until all of the ice has melted.
However, despite TVRPD’s response, the three came back the next day, at which point maintenance staff asked them to leave once again. After the three refused, district staff notified police, Young said.
The three were booked and cited for trespassing. Huddleston was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
"We are closing the park because it is in the best interest of public safety," Young said.