Citizens express anger after Mid-South mayor unexpectedly tears down city skate park

Trumann, Ark. skate park torn down unexpectedly

TRUMANN, Ark. (WMC) - Teenagers and parents are enraged that the mayor in Trumann, Arkansas tore down their skate park Monday morning.

Skateboarders showed up at city hall to show the mayor how they feel. They skated around and around city hall in protest.

“I was extremely shocked cause there was no warning whatsoever,” said skateboarder John Haynie.

These skateboarders say they went to the park every day.

“This is my second home to me, my blood sweat and tears has been in those ramps every single day,” said Jesus Lopez.

Facebook photos show adults and young people cleaning up the ramps on Sunday. They say they spent six hours cleaning up trash and removing graffiti. Parent Nicole Whitaker says the park is needed.

“This was the main thing that could keep a lot of kids out of trouble and off the streets,” said Whitaker.

There is nothing left but a concrete slab. A photo shows city crews demolishing a ramp. The mayor, Barbara Lewallen, initially said she would not talk with WMC.

“I’ve done all of the explaining I want to do. When you’re an elected official and you’re fair game, these people can say whatever. Well that’s why I want you to say something,” said Lewallen.

She said a new skate park would be too expensive for anyone to raise money.

When asked for further comment, Lewallen told WMC Action News 5 ″Not $200 to $300 thousand. I rather doubt it anyway. I’m sorry I’ve got a meeting. I haven’t eaten lunch today.”

Several adults told me the ramp just needed a few boards and they had them to make repairs. Former Trumann Alderman, Debbie Cook, said taxpayers paid a one cent sales tax to build the skate park and now it’s gone."

“I mean I was so shocked. My grandson called me from school. I went over there and sure enough, all the city workers were there.

"We’re protesting. We’re wanting this park back,” said Lopez.

It is not really clear what will happen next. But a lot of residents stopped me and said they will get the money somehow to build another skate park.

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