Denver Skatepark: Recent beating not the only report of violence

Reports of a man beaten by a group of teens at Denver Skatepark last week, resulting in a fractured vertebrae and a broken elbow among other injuries, were certainly startling. But they're apparently not unique.

Westword investigative cartoonist Kenny Be found a 2009 account of gunplay at the facility in an online discussion headlined, "Worst thing you have seen at a skatepark?" Here's the story:

Denver Skatepark has some creeps as well, since it is downtown you get normal run-of-the-mill homeless and thugs but every once and awhile you get some legit crazy people I was there from about 5:30 to 11:00 skating off and on and there was this guy who couldn't be older than 40 sitting in the middle of everything, not in the park but as close as you can get without being in the way, at the entrance. He was completely covered in dirt and was sitting by himself having the most intense conversation with nobody. Me and my friends decided to investigate and sat as close as we were comfortable with, as far as we could hear he was breaking up with either his girlfriend or boyfriend or something and that he was trying to explain his case to a judge with appropriate "Objections" and legal terms.

Another time at Denver Park one of the regulars was getting his stuff stolen and as the thieves were driving off he got some revenge by smashing in one of the rear passenger windows with his board (probably hitting the guy in that seat with his trucks) I expected them to stop the car and get out and fight, but instead the guy leans out the smashed window and fire 6 shots from his 9mm meanwhile I'm following the car hoping to see a brawl between the locals and the thugs (skaters outnumbered them about 50-4) So I had to hit the deck because of gunfire, at a public skatepark.

Kenny Be notes that YouTube features clips from plenty of skatepark-oriented confrontations across the country, some involving shouting matches between older men and younger skaters. Also on the site is the following 2009 scrap from Denver; the narrative, entitled "Kim [Me] vs. Random Bitch," doesn't specify whether it took place at Denver Skatepark or other bowls in the area:

Don't be haters, skaters.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts