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Skateboarding Children Arrested in Massachusetts

UPI | August 11 2004

WHITMAN, Mass., Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The parents of two boys in Whitman, Mass., are upset their kids were arrested and shackled by police for illegal skateboarding.

The parents say the boys were shackled before being taken to a juvenile court, the Boston Herald reported Wednesday.

"It's absurd," Stephanie Saltzman said. "My son is 12 years old and all he was doing is skateboarding. I mean, you gotta be kidding me."

Saltzman's son, Josh, and 14-year-old neighbor, Ryan Maxwell, were arrested last week when a police officer caught them skateboarding on a street.

A town bylaw prohibits using skateboards or other devices to "coast or slide" along public streets.

Town officials did not comment but said police would not arrest kids unless their actions were more severe. The arresting officer declined comment.

The boys said they were only skateboarding in front of their homes and they complied with the officer without protest.

The boys have been ordered to perform 15 hours of community service before Nov. 1.