Home » Red Curbs story and Restorative Justice Program

Red Curbs story and Restorative Justice Program

Background: One rainy Saturday evening, I was skating with Dean, Jack, Blaine and Connor. Since it started raining, we took a break and hung out at Meta, the skate shop on the hill, for a little while, and then decided to roll around at “Red Curbs” – the covered parking garage at 33rd and Walnut. This parking garage is typically completely empty during weekday nights and all day during the weekends. When we drove to the parking lot, it was completely empty. After about 5 minutes of skating around, two police cars pulled up. Officer O’Toole took the lead and asked us to sit down on the curb. She took all of our IDs and information. A few minutes later, she told us she would write one ticket because she didn’t think it would be necessary to write all five of us tickets. From there, she chose Dean to receive the ticket. After some miscommunication, Dean explained to Officer O’Toole that he was the only one who was not a US citizen and was living in the US on a visa. He was concerned about how the ticket might affect his visa and his status in the US. After some hesitation, Office O’Toole asked if someone else was willing to take the ticket. I offered, and she wrote me a $250 trespassing ticket. She also told Dean that he should probably buy me a drink. (Ha!)

After that, I decided to go to court to see if there was any way the charge could be reduced or dropped. It was my very first time in court – very nerve-racking and a little exciting at the same time. When it was my turn, I asked to speak with the prosecutor who offered me a plea bargain. The plea bargain entailed that the charge could be dropped in a year from now under two circumstances: (1) I complete a Restorative Justice Program and (2) I don’t get any more trespassing or similar tickets for the next year.

For Restorative Justice Program, I first attended an “intake” meeting and then a community conference, where community members listened to my story, discussed who and what was impacted, and determined measurable things that I could complete within 4 weeks to mend some of the impact. One of the agreements was to post four things on my blog. These include:  (1) the laws about skateboarding in Boulder, CO, (2) the laws about trespassing in Boulder, CO, (3) a map of fun and legal places to skateboard in Boulder, CO, and (4) advice on being aware, responsible and respectful. And so, with that said, here we go!

(1) The Laws about skateboarding in Boulder, CO

After some research, the laws surrounding skateboarding in Boulder are in accordance with the State of Colorado laws, accented by specific zones designated in Boulder.  If you search online through Google search engine for something along the lines of “skateboarding laws Boulder CO”, you should come across a site “GO Boulder – Skaters”. The url for this site is http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8852&Itemid=3036. Most of this site is advice on how to stay safe (wear helmets, pads, etc.), as well as how to keep others safe (stay in control). There is also mention of the Boulder skate park at Arapahoe and 30th, part of Scott Carpenter Park. The website for Scott Carpenter Park is also included: http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1265&Itemid=456. There are also a list of Rights and Responsibilities for Inline Skaters, Non-Motorized Scooters and Skateboarders. These are as follows:

  • Current laws restrict in-line skating to multi-use paths
  • Stay to the right except when passing slower path users.
  • Give an audible signal such as “passing!” or “on your left” to let pedestrians know you are there.
  • Non-motorized scooters fall under the same category as in-line skates or skateboards.
  • Motorized scooters are considered a motor vehicle and therefore are not allowed on sidewalks, paths or on public streets.
  • Skating is illegal in commercial areas including in Downtown Boulder, the Twenty Ninth Street shopping district and The Hill.

Additionally, there are two links for Inline Skaters, Non-Motorized Scooters and Skateboards labeled “See where these activities are allowed” and “See where these activities are prohibited”. If you click on the first link, you will be directed to Colorado state law 7-5-10a, which states:

a) No person shall drive a bicycle or use a skateboard, rollerblade, or roller ski upon and along a sidewalk except:

(1) Upon sidewalks in residential or public districts zoned RR-1, RR-2, RE, RL, RM, RMX, RH-1, RH-2, RH-3, RH-4, RH-5, MH, MU-1, MU-3, or P; or

(2) Upon sidewalks designated as paths.

If you click on the second link, you will be directed to Colorado state law 7-2-15, which states:

7-2-15 Certain Devices Banned From Roadway and Required to Yield to Pedestrians.

(a) No person upon any roller skate, in-line skate, skateboard, roller ski, ski, coaster, sled, toboggan, toy vehicle, child’s tricycle, or any similar device shall go upon a roadway except while crossing the roadway on a crosswalk in conformance with the rules applicable to pedestrians. When so crossing, persons have the rights and duties of pedestrians. This subsection does not apply on any roadway set aside as a play street as provided by section 7-4-48, “Driving on Restricted Street Prohibited,” B.R.C. 1981, and so designated by signs.

(b) No person shall ride or operate a snowmobile on any street except upon specific request of a public authority in a time of emergency.

(c) It is a specific defense to a charge of violating any of the provisions of this section that the person was on skis or roller skis, was skiing or roller skiing in safety on a roadway in a residential, public or industrial district zoned RR-1, RR-2, RE, RL, MH, RM, RMX, RH-1, RH-2, RH-4, RH-5, MU-1, MU-3, P, IM, IG, IS, or IMS and was not on a roadway that was part of a state highway, a divided street, or a street with four or more lanes for moving motor vehicular traffic.

(d) A person upon any of the devices listed in subsection (a) of this section shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian upon a sidewalk, in a crosswalk, or on a path.

(Ordinance Nos. 5039 (1987); 5241 (1989); 5920 (1997); 5930 (1997); 7522 (2007))

From there, I searched through Google to determine what these zones meant and where they were exactly. I found a map of the different zones in Boulder at http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/files/Municipal_Court/Biking_Skatebaording_Zoning_Map_Small_Version_2.pdf. (Please follow the link to view the different zones in Boulder.)

I did some additional research to determine if there were any laws regarding private property. There are no specific laws about skateboarding on private property, but property owners can put signs saying “No Skateboarding” or “No Trespassing” and have the right to ask skateboarders to leave their property and the right to call the police to enforce their demands.

(2) Laws about Trespassing in Boulder

Similar to the skateboarding research, I began researching trespassing laws by typing the keywords “trespassing laws boulder Colorado” into a Google search engine on the internet. I came across a webpage that appeared to be created by the Boulder County Bar Association at the url:

http://www.boulder-bar.org/bar_media_manual/offenses/6.9.html

This webpage had the following information:

Bar Media Manual

CHAPTER 6: SELECTED CRIMINAL OFFENSES – Table of Contents

6.1 – Overview • 6.2 – Inchoate Offenses • 6.3 – Homicide • 6.4 – Assault • 6.5 – Domestic Violence • 6.6 – Other Unlawful Offenses against the person • 6.7 – Unlawful Sexual Behavior • 6.8 – Offenses against Property • 6.9 – Tresspass, Tampering and Mischief • 6.10 – Offenses involving Fraud • 6.11 – Offenses involving Family Relations • 6.12 – Offenses relating to Morals • 6.13 – Offenses against Government Operations and Public Order • 6.14 – Offenses relating to Weapons • 6.15 – Offenses relating to Controlled Substances • 6.16 – Alcohol/Drug related Traffic Incidents • 6.17 – Crimes Against Vulnerable Victims • 6.18 – Computer Crimes • 6.19 – Identity Theft

6.9 TRESPASS, TAMPERING AND MISCHIEF

Trespass, criminal mischief and criminal tampering are contained in Part 5 of Article 4. The seriousness of the offense generally depends on the intent of the defendant and the amount of damage caused by the defendant.

Criminal mischief is set out in C.R.S. § 18-4-501 and occurs when a person knowingly damages the real or personal property of another person. Using the same dollar amounts as the crime of theft, mischief is a class 3 felony if the damage is $15,000 or more, a class 4 felony if the damage is $500 to $15,000, a class 2 misdemeanor of the damage is more than $100 to $500, and a class 3 misdemeanor of the value is less than $100.

Trespass is divided into three crimes. First degree criminal trespass, C.R.S. § 18-4-502, occurs when a person knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains in the dwelling of another or enters any motor vehicle with the intent to commit a crime. First degree trespass is a class 5 felony. Second degree criminal trespass, C.R.S. § 18-4-503, occurs when a person unlawfully enters or remains in or upon the premises of another that are enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders, or fenced, or if a person knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains in the common areas of a hotel or apartment or condominium building. Premises is defined as “real property, buildings and other improvements thereon, and stream banks and beds of any navigable streams flowing through such property.” Second degree trespass is a class 3 misdemeanor, but is increased to a class 2 misdemeanor if the land has been designated agricultural land by the county assessor and further increased to a class 4 felony if the trespass onto agricultural land is accompanied by an intent to commit a crime thereon. Third degree criminal trespass, C.R.S. § 18-4-503, occurs when a person unlawfully enters or remains in or upon the premises of another. Third degree trespass is a class 1 petty offense, nut is increased to a class 3 misdemeanor if the property has been designated agricultural land by the county assessor and further increased to a class 5 felony if the trespass onto agricultural land is accompanied by an intent to commit a crime thereon.

There are several variations of tampering. First degree criminal tampering, C.R.S. § 18-4-505, occurs when a person, with the intent to interrupt the service provided by a public utility or public health or safety institution, tampers with the property of that utility or institution. First degree criminal tampering is a class 1 misdemeanor. Second degree criminal tampering, C.R.S. § 18-4-506, occurs when a person, with the intent to cause injury or annoyance to another person, tampers with the property of that other person, or when a person knowingly makes an unauthorized connection with the property of a utility. Second degree criminal trespass is a class 2 misdemeanor. Specific variations of tampering exist for tampering with oil equipment, tampering with a utility meter, defacing paperwork relating to property rights, defacing monuments and defacing property generally.

Based on this information, I believe my charge was a third degree criminal trespass, because I trespassed unknowingly in a location that was not a dwelling or motor vehicle and was not enclosed in any manner and was not a hotel or apartment or condominium building.

I found further information (although the reliability of the source is questionable) as an answer to a question on yahoo. The url is http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=1006022100072 and the information is as follows:

According to Colorado State Law, landowner permission is required prior to entering or crossing private property, except while traveling on public roadways. Two sections of the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) apply to trespassing:

1) CRS 18-4-504 relates to “Third Degree Trespass”, which constitutes either a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony depending upon the classification of the property involved, and the circumstances of the trespass. This statute requires a Court Appearance. Upon conviction, fines can range from $50 to $750 and can include a sentence in county jail. (private property also does not necessarily have to be posted in order for trespass laws to be enforced)

2) CRS 33-6-116 relates to trespass while engages in the act of hunting. The penalty for violating this statue is a fine of $137 and possible jail time. In addition, 20 hunting license “Points” are assessed (when 20 or more “Points” are accumulated during a 5 year period, the state Wildlife Commission may suspend your hunting and fishing privileges for up to 5 years). Some other pertinent State Laws:

CRS 33-6-125 forbids loaded firearms in motor vehicles. Penalty is $68 fine plus 15 points.

CRS 33-6-123 forbids hunting while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. Penalty is a Court Summons and 20 points.

CRS 33-6-119 (2) regards waste of edible portions of wildlife. For big game, the penalty is a $411 fine and 15 points.

CRS 33-6-126 forbids shooting from, or releasing an arrow from or across a public road. Fine is $68 and 5 points.

Federal Agencies : Report the incident immediately to the nearest Colorado Division of Wildlife, or BLM field office, with specifics of the incident; particularly the exact location where the incident occurred. An Access Problem Identification Form has been developed for use in reporting incidents of this nature on federal lands. A copy of this form is available at field offices identified in this fact sheet.

State Agencies : The State Land Office will investigate state land access related problems and complaints which involve actions that are either illegal or contrary to State Land Board regulations and lease terms. If the problem/complaint can be documented and verified, the parties involved will be contacted and requested to immediately correct the situation. Non-compliance with lease terms and related Board regulations is grounds for lease cancellation. Non-compliance with the Board’s public rules (such as off-highway vehicle use), vandalism, or property damage on state lands are grounds for arrest by any duly authorized peace officer and prosecution under pertinent Colorado statutes.

Source(s):

http://www.co.blm.gov/lsra/huntfaqs.htm

I did follow the link provided and came to a page created by the U.S. Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management – Colorado. The relevant information on this page included:

Q. What are the State of Colorado’s trespass laws?

According to Colorado State Law, landowner permission is required prior to entering or crossing private property, except while traveling on public roadways. Two sections of the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) apply to trespassing:

1) CRS 18-4-504 relates to “Third Degree Trespass”, which constitutes either a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony depending upon the classification of the property involved, and the circumstances of the trespass. This statute requires a Court Appearance. Upon conviction, fines can range from $50 to $750 and can include a sentence in county jail. (private property also does not necessarily have to be posted in order for trespass laws to be enforced)

2) CRS 33-6-116 relates to trespass while engages in the act of hunting. The penalty for violating this statue is a fine of $137 and possible jail time. In addition, 20 hunting license “Points” are assessed (when 20 or more “Points” are accumulated during a 5 year period, the state Wildlife Commission may suspend your hunting and fishing privileges for up to 5 years). Some other pertinent State Laws:

CRS 33-6-125 forbids loaded firearms in motor vehicles. Penalty is $68 fine plus 15 points.

CRS 33-6-123 forbids hunting while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. Penalty is a Court Summons and 20 points.

CRS 33-6-119 (2) regards waste of edible portions of wildlife. For big game, the penalty is a $411 fine and 15 points.

CRS 33-6-126 forbids shooting from, or releasing an arrow from or across a public road. Fine is $68 and 5 points.

One last place… this seemed to have all the actual laws on trespassing. url: http://abclegaldocs.com/Downloads/CRS_18-4-502_Colorado_Trespassing_Laws.pdf

(3) Fun and Legal Places to Skateboard! (In Boulder and surroundings)

A Map was difficult to produce, especially since I actually included skate parks outside of Boulder. I have included address and phone numbers wherever possible.

In Boulder:

– First of all, one of the best parts of skating is just simply getting out, pushing and cruising around. Riding skateboards on bike paths is legal, and there are bike paths all over Boulder! There are some that go down hills, have fun little bumps as well as ledges along the sides.  The best thing to do is to get out and start riding around on these paths and you might find a particular path that you enjoy skating on! Below is a link to a map of the bike paths:

http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/files/bike_ped_map.pdf

-Also, there is actually a skateboard park in Boulder at 30th and Arapahoe. This park is not my personal favorite but it can be fun. Twice a year there are events that are held on at this park (Halloween Havoc contest and the Spring Fling contest), which do bring a crowd of people who are there to skate and have fun.

Besides bike paths and the skate park, it becomes more difficult to say what is legal and what isn’t legal. In terms of private property, it’s really the owner’s discretion. With that said, skateboarding is illegal in the downtown area of Boulder (designated on the map that was linked to in (1) The laws about skateboarding in Boulder, CO).

Outside of Boulder:

There are many great parks just outside of Boulder that are completely free, legal and fun!

Broomfield park:

This is one of my favorite. Built by Team Pain, with lots of different shaped ledges, stair set, rails, flow bowl and a pool.

Address: 150 Lamar Street  Broomfield, CO 80020
Phone number: (720) 887-8285

Here’s a clip of my friend Derek skating the Broomfield park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjA_a6RmVCQ&feature=plcp

Northglenn park:

(officially Don Anema Memorial Skatepark)

Also one of my favorites, also by Team Pain. Lots of things here including a mellow bowl, step ups, gaps, ledges, rails, stairs, transitions, etc.

Address: southeast corner of E.B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park, 11801 Community Center Drive, Northglenn CO

Photos of Northglenn skatepark can be found at http://teampain.com/2012/06/birds-eye-view-northglenn-skatepark/ and http://teampain.com/2011/08/northglenn-co/

Arvada:

Giant, awesome! It’s been very crowded since it opened, so if you can’t handle the crowds, try to go early in the day. Really fun and full of all different things. Also by Team Pain.

Address: 12920 W. 72nd Avenue, Arvada, CO

Photos and videos at Arvada park can be found at: http://teampain.com/tag/arvada-2/

Lafayette:

Creative and fun. Lots of rocks and marble and bowls.  Once again, built by Team Pain.

Address: 111 W. Baseline RdLafayetteCO.

Phone Number: (303) 665-0469

Photos can be found at: http://teampain.com/tag/lafayette-2/

Fort Collins:

There are actually four parks up here, but my favorite is Northside. This was built by skateboarders in Fort Collins as a completely DIY park. The skaters there take good care of this park and often add new fun obstacles.

Photos can be found at: http://www.thecoloradoskateboardguide.com/index_files/fortcollinsnorthsideaztlanpark.htm

(4) Advice!

Skateboarding is really amazing. It constantly challenges my mental and physical strengths, and has helped me make awesome friends all over the world. It does come with somedownsides, though, including injuries and the almost inevitable issues with the law. The quotes “skateboarding is a crime” or “skateboarding is not a crime” are actually worth debating. Of course, skateboarding is legal at skateparks, although even a skateparks, there was can be issues with whether or not it’s legal to skate without a helmet or pads. Luckily, since I’ve been in Colorado, I’ve never been to a park that didn’t allow skateboarders to choose whether to wear helmet or pads. I believe this should be the choice of the skateboarder, especially if the skateboarder is an adult.

Many skateboarders want to skate things other than skateparks, though. “Street” skating allows for a whole different set of challenges and adventure than can’t be capture in a place designed for skateboarding, such as a skatepark. The conflict arises when property owners do not want skateboarders skating on their property. Common explanations are that skaters could get hurt and sue, skaters are damaging the property, or simply that skaters are a nuisance. Many property owners or security guards will first ask skaters to leave. The best thing is always to be polite and respectful. Sometimes I’ve been in a situation where a security guard will agree to give skaters a few more tries or a few more minutes when people are just nice and polite and up front about what they’re doing. But if you’re being asked or told to leave, the best thing to do is to leave.

Some businesses, and even some residential properties, have no trespassing or no skateboarding signs. It’s best to be aware and look for these signs. In my situation, I did not notice the no trespassing sign that was present at the parking garage. When I received a trespassing ticket, I regretted not being more aware. Places with these signs offer less leeway in terms of avoiding a ticket and also seem to be places where often cops are called before skaters are warned.

Overall take home message: be aware and respectful.

And for a fun little ender, watch this video about skateboarding being a crime: