SFPD Officer Threatens to Break Skater's Arm "Like a Twig"

Neighbor complaint about skateboarders shooting video leads to controversial moment caught on camera

By Jackson West
|  Friday, Oct 2, 2009  |  Updated 12:12 PM PDT
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Burning Man 2009 in Pictures

2848 Productions

YouTube has proven the perfect venue for reporting on incidents between camera-equipped skaters and their natural enemies in the wild.

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Zach Stow and friends were out on a sunny day in San Francisco shooting a skate video for 2848 Productions called "Baystick."

When San Francisco Police Officer Noel Schwab arrived on the scene to cite them for skating and messing with grate on the street, the situation quickly turned ugly -- and unbeknownst to Schwab, it was all being captured on camera.

Stow mouthed off to the officer, calling him a "f---ing d--k."

Dumb move? Yes.

However, the officer proceeded to grab Stow and threatened to "break your arm like a twig" as he instigated an arrest.

Other neighbors arrive on the scene and harassed Schwab for kicking Stow into the police cruiser.

Schwab then complains that "he's the bad guy" for enforcing the law, and repeatedly goes into rants about his duties in law enforcement, while also claiming that at no point did he threaten anyone.

Reactions to the video on sites like San Francisco Metblogs has been mixed, with commenters criticizing both Stow and Schwab's behavior.

In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, Sergeant Wilfred Williams explained that the arrest was standard procedure for someone who couldn't present their identification during a citation, and said that Schwab has been assigned to desk duty while the department investigates.

Jackson West notes that skaters versus cops is an age-old rivalry on the urban savannah.

A warning on the YouTube clip: NSFW
 

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