Police response at skatepark turns physical
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Police arrested three young people after a phsyical altercation with officers at the Willamalane Skatepark on Wednesday evening.
Officers responded to a report of disorderly conduct at the park Wednesday, Sgt. Rich Charboneau said.
"They found a group of about 50 kids, and several of them had been drinking," Charboneau said.
The responding officers first dealt with an intoxicated 20-year-old man who need to detox, Charboneau said.
That's when police say 19-year-old Anthony Robert Gomez threw his skateboard down and demand to know who called police to the park.
Then Savannah Margaret Niemi, 18, jumped on an officer's back, police said.
"His girlfriend, the person who had just been arrested, runs up to the officer that is walking him and ends up jumping on the officer's back and hitting him in the face," Charboneau said.
The situation got physical between the teens and police as they took Gomez and Niemi into custody.
"I just looked over and they had two teenagers down on the ground," said Wendy Molina of Springfield, who was at the park with her granddaughter.
She started taking pictures.
"It was horrible," Molina said. "They were stomping on them and pulling their arms in really bad positions.
"That is not acceptable behavior," she said. "That is not acceptable behavior for a police officer to be treating what everyone here perceived as children."
Charboneau said the officers tried talking to the youth but responded to the aggression with defensive tactics.
Officers arrested Niemi on charges of assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer and physical harassment.
Gomez was arrested on charges of furnishing liquor to aminor, disorderly conduct, physical harassment, resisting arrest and trespassing
Police also arrested 20-year-old Eric Shane Humphrey on charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.