by Amber Allen
A city ordinance that controls skateboarders, roller skaters and roller bladers has been an area of change since the Feb. 16 confrontation between ULV Graphics Manager Raffi Zinzalian and a skateboarding youth in front of the stairs of the AAIC building. On Wednesday, two signs detailing the city’s no skateboarding rule were posted in front of AAIC.
Charges were made against Zinzalian by the youth, who claims he was pushed when he refused to leave. Zinzalian was enforcing the city ordinance regarding skateboarders in asking the juvenile to leave what is private property. There were no signs posted warding off skateboarders.
According to a La Verne city ordinance, riding skateboards, roller blades or roller skates is prohibited around businesses, pedestrian walkways, shopping centers or places of public assembly, such as libraries or city parks. It is the responsibility of the police to cite individuals who violate this law or threaten injury to people or property. However, for this law to be enforced, signs must be displayed in plain view at all entrances to the property.
According to Robert Rodriguez, ULV’s chief of security and transportation, it is the University’s responsibility to post the signs within the boundaries of campus.
“It wasn’t a major problem. Maintenance was in the process before the incident to post signs, this just expedited the situation,” said Rodriguez.
According to Rodriguez, the incident on Feb. 16 could have been avoided if the signs had been posted. Because he was a youth, the police could not cite him.
“I think skates don’t cause a problem. There’s no damage that I can see. But on the steps of AAIC there are notches and indents where skateboarders have gone down and that just looks bad,” said Rodriguez.
The cost of producing the signs is paid for out of the Security budget and the signs are purchased from an outside company.
Rodriguez says that the steps in front of AAIC are the most crucial area for damage, but he never saw it as a major problem.
“I believe in controlling a problem,” said Rodriguez.
The steps of the building are made of rare Tufa stone from the mountains of Armenia, which was donated specifically for the building.
The city ordinance for skateboarding is similar to the law that controls parking. If signs regulating times are posted around a parking area, then it is within the police department’s jurisdiction to cite individuals for breaking the law. Even though the University is on private property, the police are the law enforcement body that controls the streets.