Violence in Clovis forces closure of Rotary Skate Park

FRESNO, Calif.

Officials are closing the park down until they can retro-fit the skate park to make it safer. Although they wouldn't elaborate. They're taking this action after police say three suspects kicked and punched a man so badly that he had to be hospitalized after suffering head trauma.

The sign on the bars says it all. Rotary Skate Park in Clovis will be closed for a month after a violent altercation took place here on Tuesday.

Shelly Hill brought her son to the park and was shocked to hear the news. "Well this is a real bummer for my son because you know he is just found skateboarding." said Hill.

City officials say 20 teens and adults gathered just outside of the skate park Tuesday. Three of them jumped an 18 year old and severely beat him in the head. An ambulance rushed the man to the hospital where he's expected to recover from his injuries. But it's not the brutal beating that worries police, it's what didn't happen that upsets them.

"What happened then is you had 17 other people standing around watching this take place. That's not something that we can allow to have happen." said Clovis spokesperson Janet Stoll-Lee.

There is a security camera overlooking the skate park. Officials wouldn't say if it captured the incident on tape. And as Action News reported last week Clovis police and the city council are also looking to expand an existing ordinance that would help keep these perpetrators out of the park for an extended period of time.

"If you've got activity that's going on like unsportsmanlike conduct. Lewd behavior. Drugs. Etc, etc. What they can do is suspend a person and that can be up for a period of a year." added Stoll-Lee.

For now these ramps and rails will go unused. A city worker will also be designated to patrol the park and look for trouble. But Hill says no matter how much security you have the best way to keep your kids safe is to actually be with them while they're out having a good time.

"You know as long as mom and dad are with him and it's supervised. That's the only way." said Hill.

The city is also exploring the options of having a neighborhood watch program or giving volunteers the ability to be in constant communication with police at the park.

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