Officer, skater dispute a hit on YouTube

October 1, 2009 7:36:26 PM PDT
A YouTube video from San Francisco has caught fire on the Internet. You can decide for yourself whether it shows a police officer acting within the scope of his duties, or whether he lets his temper get away from him.

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A video on YouTube showing a skateboarder and a San Francisco police officer in a dispute, has gotten more than 57,000 views so far.

Officer Noel Schwab started by asking skateboarder Zach Stow, if he had a headache.

He's been called to the scene because of complaints from neighbors. It quickly goes downhill when stow calls the officer an expletive.

Officer Schwab told stow he's under arrest for skateboarding illegally in San Francisco.

Then he says: "Resist again and I'm going to break your arm like a twig and you can treat me like the (bleep) that you think I am."

Stow was then taken to the county jail.

"When you don't have proper identification, then it goes from a simple citation to being booked," said Sgt. Wilfred Williams from the San Francisco Police Department Public Affairs.

A source told ABC7 Stow hangs out at a home in San Francisco. A resident who declined to identify himself came to the door.

"I don't want to get into this, I do know he doesn't want to pursue it. He mouthed off to a cop, it's not a problem," said the resident.

Ask any skateboarder and chances are they've seen the video. Most wouldn't go on camera but there seemed to be a consensus among those we spoke with.

Charlie, who does not want his full name used, says cops often treat skateboarders rudely.

"For the most part, not really respected, just approached like criminals or anyone else who they're just trying to get off the streets," he said.

We showed the video to others we met at Union Square.

"The boy was very disrespectful without any reason to be," said Union Square visitor Emma Mirfakhrai.

"I think the cop overreacted to the situation," said Union Square visitor Kathy Hebert.

"The kid was wising off. He got something like what he deserved. He didn't have to be a wise ass to the cop," said Union Square visitor James Prial.

But most agreed the officer should have shown more restraint especially when he said he would break his arm.

Officer Schwab has been placed on desk duty while police investigate the case.

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