Denver Woman Shown Attacking Young Skateboarders in Viral Video | Westword
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Video: Denver Woman Attacks Young Skateboarders, Throws 11-Year-Old's Board Into River

"It's kind of traumatizing. I'm going to remember that for the rest of my life."
A viral video shows a woman going after child and teen skateboarders in downtown Denver.
A viral video shows a woman going after child and teen skateboarders in downtown Denver. Instagram @alisbelly
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A woman angry over children skateboarding at Denver's Confluence Park was caught on video chasing, grabbing and shoving the young boys.

Before the video started capturing the action, the woman threw a skateboard belonging to eleven-year-old Charleston Davidson into the South Platte River, according to witnesses and an incident report from the Denver Police Department. The conflict happened on the evening of Friday, June 28, in Shoemaker Plaza, across from the flagship REI store.

The dispute began when the woman asked the boys to stop skating, saying that it was "upsetting" her, though there are no posted signs prohibiting skateboarding in the area, according to the incident report. The woman claimed "a skateboard went near" her head, which prompted her to take Charleston's board and throw it into the water. Charleston was not involved in the interaction, but his board was sitting on the ground nearby.

The police report ends there, and no charges were filed — but a video captured by one of the skateboarders reveals that the woman went on to physically attack them. When a boy confronts her for throwing Charleston's skateboard into the river, she runs toward him and screams, "Get the fuck out of here!" He lifts his skateboard and thrusts it at the charging woman, but when he retreats, the woman sprints after him and another boy, yelling,"You want to see what I can fucking do?"

At one point, a thirteen-year-old boy tells the woman to "look how you made this kid feel," pointing to a crying Charleston. She then runs up to the thirteen-year-old, grabbing him, yanking on his shirt and appearing to swing her fist toward his head while calling him a "punk-ass bitch."

She's later shown pushing the thirteen-year-old, trying to snatch skateboards from two other teens' hands and running after the person filming, attempting to take his phone.

"It's kind of traumatizing. I'm going to remember that for the rest of my life," Charleston says. "That board was really expensive, and my mom worked really hard for that."

Charleston's mother, Stacia Davidson, says her son had just purchased a new deck three days earlier with money from his eleventh birthday; the entire board cost nearly $300. Stacia agreed not to press charges against the woman as long as she pays to replace the skateboard (she'd paid $75 as of July 3, Stacia says) — but that was before Stacia saw the video of the altercation.

"It was frightening," she says, explaining that police only told her about the skateboard being thrown into the water, not the subsequent attack. "It looks like a maniac running after kids. What if [a bystander] wouldn't have calmed her down? How far would it have escalated? ... I didn't know her behavior was like that."

Stacia identified the woman in the video as Teresa Romansky, who did not respond to multiple outreach attempts from Westword. A Facebook profile under Romansky's name appeared to have been deleted shortly after a Westword reporter messaged the account.

When they spoke on the phone, Romansky did not explain what prompted her to go off on the young skateboarders, Stacia says.

Two bystanders who intervened near the end of the video, Taylor and David Singer-Smith, say the woman seemed "obviously intoxicated." The Singer-Smiths arrived on the scene as the woman threw Charleston's skateboard into the river, so they didn't see what preceded it. But they say other witnesses told them the woman was the aggressor from the start.

"I was telling her to get her stuff and go," Taylor says. "She was very stuck on 'Those kids are being assholes, I want them to be punished.' ... She kept yelling over my shoulder at the kids. At that point, I started to pick her bags up at the river and move them to a different location. She had a bag full of alcohol; it was clear she had been drinking."

The Singer-Smiths kept the woman away from the boys as they waited for the police, whom the woman had called earlier. Taylor stayed with the woman while David tried to comfort the young skateboarders, getting a recap of the incident from their perspectives.

"She was telling them to leave repeatedly; they insisted to her that they have skated here before and are allowed to skate here," David recounts the boys' explanation. "One of the kids told her she had stinky feet, and that made her really mad."

Throughout the video, the woman makes remarks about the boys "coming at" her and not leaving her alone, later saying the boys "antagonized" and "assaulted" her. When questioned about stealing Charleston's skateboard, she tried to take a different boy's board, saying, "You're the one that got his board thrown into the river."

Officers responded to the scene but did not file a criminal report, according to the Denver Police Department. The incident report does not mention the woman's claims that any of the boys assaulted her — or refer to the woman's behavior captured on film.

The video of the altercation has since gone viral, accumulating over 32,000 views on Instagram as of Friday, July 5.

"I was shocked seeing the video, as well," David says. "It's the kind of clip you see all over the internet, but encountering it in real life was very surreal. ... My only regret is that we didn't step in sooner."

The area around Shoemaker Plaza at Confluence Park is a popular spot for skateboarders, located half a mile from the Denver Skate Park. Just one week before the incident, Charleston and hundreds of other skateboarders filled the plaza in celebration of Go Skateboarding Day on Friday, June 21.

But Stacia says this experience has left her unsure about letting her son skate there in the future.

"I feel like he needs a parent with him now at all times. You just don't know how people are," Stacia says. "I trust my son when he's skateboarding. He loves skateboarding; he has such a passion for it. He should be able to skate freely with his friend and nothing should happen to him."

The Singer-Smiths are upset about that, too: "It's frustrating that kids can't be kids in public without potentially having to deal with something like this," David says.

Charleston has been skateboarding since he was four years old and started skating competitively last summer. He had a competition the day after he lost his board, which forced him to throw together a new skateboard using wheels and trucks he had previously been gifted or won in contests. Charleston placed third, Stacia says. "He probably could have placed first" but for the new board, she adds. "None of it was the correct sizing. It was just put together."

Charleston hopes to become a professional skateboarder when he grows up. In the meantime, Denver's skating community has rallied around him since the incident, with four skate shops and several individuals reaching out to offer to replace his lost board, Stacia says.

"That's why I like the skate community," she adds. "Skateboarding has a bad reputation for some people, but the skateboarding community is really good to the kids."

"Skateboarding isn't a crime," Charleston adds. "Skateboarding is fun. It calms me down when I'm mad; it makes me happy and relaxed. It's my favorite thing to do."
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