Skater handcuffed, escorted off property for not wearing helmet - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Skater handcuffed, escorted off property for not wearing helmet

A YouTube video of 12-year-old William Faulhaber's arrest last month at the Memphis skatepark has sparked outrage from viewers online. A YouTube video of 12-year-old William Faulhaber's arrest last month at the Memphis skatepark has sparked outrage from viewers online.

(WMC-TV) - A YouTube video of 12-year-old William Faulhaber's arrest last month at the Memphis skatepark has sparked outrage from viewers online and from his parents at home.

"I definitely think we need to standup for the way it was handled," said William Faulhaber's mother, Marcia, on Saturday.

The Faulhabers believe the arresting officer went too far by handcuffing their son while enforcing the park's rule requiring all skateboarders wear a helmet.

"I think handcuffing him was totally overboard," Marcia Faulhaber said.

After he was arrested, William Faulhaber was taken home and issued a juvenile summons - not for disregarding the helmet rule say police, but for criminal trespassing.

Monday, a Memphis Police Department spokesperson said Faulhaber was arrested only after he refused to leave the park when asked by the officer. According to the spokesperson, anyone transported in a squad car must be in handcuffs.

There are exceptions to the rule, but 12 year-old William Faulhaber was apparently not one of them.

"I don't think they need to be handcuffed put in a police car and driven home," said William's father, Hans Faulhaber.

Williams Faulhaber's parents believe there should be more clarity in park rules, the law, and police protocol regarding both.

Coincidentally, the Memphis City Council will vote on an ordinance Tuesday that - if passed - will require skateboarders to wear helmets at any city park.

---

Monday, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong released the following statement about Faulhaber's arrest:

The arresting officer observed a group of people to be skating in the park without a helmet and issued several verbal warnings advising that continued behavior would be a violation of park rules.  The majority of the group complied, however, the 12-year old refused and continued; therefore was issued a Juvenile Summons for Criminal Trespass.  During the issuance of the Juvenile Summons, the 12-year old was handcuffed and transported to his home where he was released to his father.        

At this time it appears that the officer acted within the scope of his authority and followed policy and procedures regarding handcuffing of the detained 12-year old as well as the issuance of a Juvenile Summons for Criminal Trespass.  

I have spoken with the Mayor concerning this matter and assured him that it is the Memphis Police Department's goal to promote safety for our citizens as they utilize this new facility.  In our quest to do so, we will continue to patrol and monitor all public facilities to ensure that our citizens are safe.

---

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly