Skateboarder attacks ranger at renowned park

The park became an accidental mecca for skaters

LOVE Park
A woman walks past a fountain in John F. Kennedy Plaza, also known as Love Park, in Philadelphia during lunch time on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia police are investigating a cellphone video that shows a skateboarder attacking a city park ranger while others stand by laughing after they were told to stop skateboarding in Love Park, an internationally renowned shredding spot.

Witness Mariano Verrico of Essex Fells, New Jersey, told WCAU-TV he shot the video Friday.

Verrico said the ranger “got kicked in the head repeatedly and spit on.” Verrico says the park ranger warned several young men that they had to stop skateboarding because there were too many children in the area.

“The one kid who did everything leaned down and spit on him. It was really disgraceful,” Verrico told the station.

Police told Philly.com the video was turned over to them on Saturday.

The city renovated Love Park in 2002 and reopened it with a permanent ban on skateboarding. But there have been other reported incidents between skateboarders and authorities in recent years.

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.

Nearby Paine’s Park, where skateboarding is allowed, opened in 2013.

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