SANTA BARBARA, CAlif. --
Santa Barbara skaters took over Skaters Point after the city closed it down for
the Fourth of July holiday.
Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation shut the park down due to illegal and
inappropriate activity from some of the park users.
"It has created a
situation that is unsafe and we have had to do this and my hope is that everyone
would enjoy and treat public facilities with respect," says Santa Barbara Parks
and Recreation Director Nancy Rapp.
Chains lined the
half pipes, rails and fun boxes but skaters cut the chains shortly after.
Rapp says some
skaters engaged in illegal drug use and inappropriate activity at the park such
as lobbing water balloons into traffic on Cabrillo Road and making verbal and
physical threats to city staff and other skate boarders.
The city says it
escalated to the point of closure through July 4th but some skaters say that's
"What's unfair is
that a few kids or a few people who are ruining it for the others," says biker
Thomas Mendoza. "I'm 50 years old and I skate here and my kids skate here and we
just want to skate this weekend and it's shut down."
The city will reopen the park on July 5th.
Parks and Recreation
is working with Santa Barbara Police to address the issue.
The skates were able
to gain access into the park by hopping the gates and cutting off the chains.
Police officers did respond but left shortly after.