Do skateboarders have some sort of omerta code?

This article seems to suggest so. Here in Portland, an elderly business owner asked some boarders lounging on the sidewalk in front of his store to please move out of the way so he could clean the walk. He was also tired of them hanging out there and getting in the way of customers. One of the bunch picked up his skateboard and clocked the old guy, who ended up in the hospital.

Cops finally arrested the little shit. Fast forward to the courtroom yesterday,where the guy refused to apologize for his actions and stated that he was “protecting his own”. Apparently, a couple of his buddies waylaid another person who they thought had been interviewed by a TV reporter and who said some unkind things about their friend.

According to the article these guys often have money and credit cards and plans for moving from city to city: in other words, slackers. Now, young folks do this sort of thing. Back in the day, the gig was to hitchhike around the country with your guitar, looking for a commune to live in. Most get it out of their system at some point.

But what’s with the gang mentality among this bunch? Sure, they’re maybe friends and share a common interest, but assaulting someone because of some imagined slight? WTF? Can somebody enlighten me?

Assholes will act like assholes.

I’m pretty sure most skateboarders wouldn’t act like that.

I would say in this case it was a group of assholes who happen to all be skateboarders. Not something peculiar to skateboarders in general.

Some skateboarding communities have a siege mentality, because some local governments have taken steps to limit skating in some public places.

Around the local colleges, you can see kids with t-shirts, “Skateboarding is not a crime.”

The sense they have that they are being persecuted causes some of them to adopt a defensive emotional response. This can lead them to do things that are a bit extreme.

(Personally, I’m in favor of restrictions on some kinds of skateboarding activity, such as sliding down handrails, jumping down stairs, etc. But there are many skaters who see such regulations as intrusive.)

This. Sick fucks that have no conscious and are willing to inflict violence on others for no reason will capitalize on opportunities where they are protected by a group, whether it’s skaters, bikers, sports team members, etc.

Read about the shitstain’s childhood. That, rather than skateboarding, is where the problem lies.

There an XKCD for everything.

I remember years ago seeing a spot paid for by a skateboarding advocacy group that showed a group of business men playing golf, and several policeman swarmed in, confiscated their clubs and arrested them. It ended with a narrator saying something like “What if all athletes were treated like skateboarders?”

I thought at the time there should be a spot showing someone walking down Main Street and suddenly getting hit in the back of the head with a golf ball. Then the camera would cut to a bunch of men with golf clubs high fiving each other and shouting “Good one, dude!”. It would have ended with an announcer saying “What if all athletes behaved like some skateboarders?”

Skateboarding isn’t a crime. Trespassing is. Golfers golf in areas set aside for golfing. And they pay fees to use them.

And it’s entirely possible for skateboard to be illegal, if there’s a law on the books somewhere prohibiting the use of wheeled conveyances without a permit (which will never be granted to a skateboard).

Certainly, if there are signs up expressly forbidding skateboarding (say, in a public park) then there’s almost certainly something (besides trespassing) which skateboarders could be charged with if they ignore it.

Quite often violation of a bylaw.

That’s what I was getting at.

When I worked Security for the small university, I had to deal with skateboarders. Some of them would just move on, some of them would scream about harassment and that it wasn’t illegal.

As I explained to them; It is a safety and insurance issue. If you get hurt, who it going to pay for it? Do you think the school wants to pay for it? Because they don’t. It also isn’t about it being against the law, it’s about the school, which is private property, not wanting it there and being in their rights to tell you to go somewhere else.
But I still remember the 17 year old mouthy punk trying to threaten me and saying he would just come back later that night. I told him there were no cameras facing the area he had been in, so if he went back there and got hurt, I’d be sure to just push him behind some bushes and leave him there. And you know, it might be a day or two before someone noticed him. :stuck_out_tongue:

He didn’t come back.

I was trying not to paint with a broad brush on this, as I know any given group has its asshole component. This groups seems fairly aggressive, however, first with the assault on the 70+ gent and then a subsequent assault on someone who merely gave his opinion on the assault on a news broadcast. The whole notion of “defending my own” indicates a culture of all for one/one for all, so I thought I’d see if anybody has first-hand knowledge as to whether or not this gang mentality is a “thing”.

I witnessed a confrontation on the bus last year between two boarders and another passenger. These two yahoos carried on a fairly racist conversation within earshot of a young Hispanic man and his SO for about a mile. When his stop came, he got up and gave them both the stinkeye. They both stood up and one of the boarders became aggressive with the guy along the lines of “what the fuck are you looking at?” The guy said “Hey, I’m just getting off the bus.” The boarder replied (while hoisting his board up to port arms): “You’ll have a better day, if you do.” It could have gone either way at that point, but the man finally turned away and exited.

So, mouthy assholes with an excuse to carry a large weapon.

Again, it also suggests a bunch of assholes, these particular ones happen to be carrying skateboards. I suspect it’s no more prevalent than it would be among any group of young men who spend a lot of time on the streets.

Something of the sort was going on in Berkeley, CA., circa mid-1970’s. But I don’t know if it was a local ordinance (probably it was) or a state law. It became illegal to go about on roller skates on a public street (and maybe sidewalk too?) The main motive, presumably, was safety.

But there were some people (this was Berkeley, remember) who were actually doing meaningful travel – like going to and from work – on roller skates. I had a roommate who was doing that. Apparently there were enough of them to make enough fuss, that they got the rules changed to be more favorable to rollerskate commuters.

In CA, there’s CVC 21113, a catch-all sort of law that says, basically, that the people in charge of any public or quasi-public place (park, university, etc.) can post signs with any damn restriction they please, and it’s law. It’s intended to give the “authorities” the power to regulate or ban skating, skateboarding, or to make any kind of parking rules they want. But if they want to post signs forbidding people from parting their hair on the left, I think they can do even that.

Technical nit-pick: This wouldn’t exactly be omerta, would it? I thought omerta was more about the code of silence; IOW don’t take your internal issues with other gangsters to the cops, and so on. IOW you can’t violate the code of silence with regard to another person unless both of you in some way identify with the same subculture.

I got your permit RIGHT HERE! :smiley:

(Link to YouTube video. Swearing, but otherwise SFW.)

Are you sure? Maybe you should check behind the bushes. :cool: