PHILADELPHIA (TheBlaze/AP) — Philadelphia police are investigating a cellphone video that shows a skateboarder attacking a city park ranger while others stand around laughing and watching.
The beating commenced, one witness said, after the ranger told the crew to stop skateboarding in the crowded park because there were too many children around.
The cellphone video was turned over to police. Mariano Verrico of Essex Fells, New Jersey, told the station he took the video Friday at Philadelphia’s LOVE Park, reported WCAU-TV in Philadelphia.
“The one kid who did everything leaned down and spit on him,” Verrico told the station. “It was really disgraceful.”
Verrico said the ranger warned several young men they had to stop skateboarding because there were too many children in the area.
“Basically he was just doing his job,” Verrico told WCAU, adding that he was hesitant to intervene because he was outsized. “His voice wasn’t raised. He wasn’t cursing…He never once tried to fight with the kid.”
The skateboarder punched and tackled the ranger; then as the ranger is on the ground the skateboarder continues the beating, kicking the ranger in the head as a crowd gathers.
One onlooker holding a skateboard is seen drawing in close to the beating with what looks like a large video camera. Others stand and laugh and egg on the assailant. The most vocal witness is heard calling the beaten ranger a “p***y” and “bitch ass n*****.”
The attacker finishes things off by spitting on the ranger:
Verrico told WCAU that he accompanied the park ranger and his supervisor to a police station and turned his video over to investigators.
If you want to view the video with sound included, you can watch it on YouTube. (Note: The YouTube clip of the assault begins at the 1:01 mark and concludes at the 2-minute mark. Before and after the assault footage is added material from the video poster — content warning: Disturbing images and rough language.)
Here’s a clip of the assault without sound. (Content warning: Disturbing images):
The park got its name because it is also home to Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture. The park became an accidental mecca for skaters because of its granite ledges, benches and steps. It was featured in a Tony Hawk video game and partly credited for bringing the X Games to Philadelphia in 2001 and 2002.