To the Editor,
We are writing this letter to appeal to our community for help. We are having a serious problem with skateboarders at our store, Ralph's Furniture & TV. The skateboarders arrive daily after school, on weekends and at dark to jump our curbs and do their stunts, despite the fact we have several signs posted saying "No Skateboarding" allowed.
The skateboarders are doing serious damage to our curbs, sidewalks and storefront. Our new curbs and sidewalks are now black, scored and gouged. The side of our storefront has several deep gouges in the stucco from being slammed against by skateboarders.
Repeatedly, we have asked the skateboarders to leave. Often they appear to leave, just going around the corner to watch and wait until we are gone. Then they come right back to skateboard some more. Generally, they are disrespectful and aggressive, when we ask them to leave. Many of them have been very foul mouthed, using more four letter words than we know. And they always refuse to give us their names and addresses.
We have been told by the police that we are to take pictures of the skateboarders who are trespassing and then call police dispatch. We've tried to do this, but even that has become a game to the skateboarders.
We know that this community went through quite an effort and expense to put in a park specifically designed for skateboarders, where our kids could skateboard safely and not do damage to anyone's property. We were glad to support that effort.
So what can be done about this problem? I'm sure other individuals have faced this issue. How have you dealt with it? Are there any community action groups that can help us? Ideas, anyone?
Parents of skateboarders -- would you talk to your children about these issues? Your efforts to help us would be deeply appreciated!
Ed and Donna Hagedorn
Owners Ralph's Furniture & TV