Skaters Break Barriers to Kick, Push in Oceanside

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The city of Oceanside is taking to social media to keep people out of the skate parks and report vandals breaking down barriers to get in. 

Some visitors to the Alex Road and Martin Luther King Junior skate parks were are defying city health orders for fun. 

The head of Oceanside Public Works told NBC 7 skaters removed steel cables put in place to stop them from using Alex Road Skate Park during the stay at home order.

Those now using the park say they're not criminals, they're just bored.

"If they want to take it from us go ahead and try brother. We are going to come here every day. This is our outlet," a skateboarder who calls himself “Fisto” said.

The Martin Luther King Junior rink is locked up like the rest but roller hockey player Zachary Roenicke couldn’t resist.

"I am by myself so I was kind of hoping if somebody was to roll by here, they wouldn’t bother me," Roenicke said.

Fisto said the Alex Road skate park helped get him off the streets and his single act of civil disobedience is part of a greater good. 

"We're preventing domestic violence and having people get out of the house. These little kids are going crazy playing video games. They can get out here and loose some energy," Fisto said.

Oceanside Public Works closed the skate parks to prevent large gatherings per the county public health order. Roenicke said the city used a fence to close off the skate bowl at MLK Junior park but had to replace it with steel cables.

"The kids or teens that were here just tore it down. I think that’s why the cables came up. They didn't have any other option," Roenicke said.

Public Works told NBC 7 the steel cables at Alex Road were rolled up and left in the corner of its skate bowl this weekend. Tuesday's crowd faced no barriers.

"This isn't about vandalism. This is about us. This is our park. We take care of it. Why do they care all of the sudden,” Fisto asked?

Oceanside doesn't have the personnel to monitor its skate parks 24 hours a day, so the city is relying on the public to report trespassing. The rebellious rollers, no matter how impassioned, were kicked out of Alex Road Park several times, only to return when no one was watching.  

“If they open the beach up and they can go surf why can't we all come here and hang out with our people,” Fisto asked.

Skateparks aren't on any particular phase of reopening. The Public Works manager said they will reopen them when the county health department permits gatherings of up to 50 people.

In its twitter post, the city warned that damaging the skate parks could delay reopening. So far, the damage has only been to the barriers used to lock up the facilities, Oceanside police said.

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