Massachusetts State Police

Skateboarders Charged After Controversial Arrest at Cambridge Park

Two skateboarders faced a judge on Monday after Massachusetts State Police said they were trespassing at a popular park in Cambridge Sunday night.

Derek Hanlon, 27, and Askia Burns, 24, both of Boston, were arraigned Monday in Cambridge District Court after police said they refused to leave the Lynch Skate Park at about 8:30 p.m.

Hanlon was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. Burns was charged with trespassing.

The men were part of a larger group at the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) property who had been skating. Police say they were in violation of the park's hours which are dawn to dusk.

The skateboarders told NBC10 Boston that they thought the park was open due to the recent installment of lights by the Charles River Conservancy.

The Charles River Conservancy issued a response to NBC10 Boston on Twitter about the confliction of the park's hours.

"We were disappointed to hear about the incident at the Lynch Family Skatepark, but are excited that the skatepark lights have been installed, extending park hrs to 9pm. The park is operated by @MassDCR, who will be updating signage soon to reflect these hrs."

According to police, a trooper issued six to eight requests from his PA system and then in person after exiting the cruiser, asking the skaters to leave.

Authorities said despite repeated requests asking him to leave, Hanlon refused and was arrested. Video of his arrest was captured by a fellow skater.

"The defendant continually resisted while approximately 30 other skaters began to move closer. The Trooper then took necessary action to overcome the defendant's resistance and make the arrest quickly before the situation escalated further," state police said in a statement.

In court Monday, Hanlon said he didn't understand why the trooper didn't explain the park hours instead of using force.

"He put his hands on me, pushed me away and arrested me. He didn’t answer my questions," said Hanlon. "They got me on the ground. My neck still hurts."

Authorities said Burns was observed walking back toward the park and allegedly stating that he would continue skating as soon as police left. Police arrested him as well.

Both men were released on personal recognizance. Burns had his charge dismissed but ordered to pay a $100 fine. Hanlon is due back in court Oct. 31.

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