San Francisco skateboarders hold smaller “hill bomb” at Dolores Park

San Francisco — A “Hill Bomb” still took place despite the San Francisco Police Department’s effort to stop it.

SFPD shut down Dolores Street from 18th to 21st to stop the annual “Dolores Hill Bomb” skateboarding event from taking place.

The event involves skateboarders taking over the street to ride down the hill next to Dolores Park at extreme speeds. There have been injuries and even a death.

Despite that, Greg Runnels still showed up at Dolores Park.

“You’ve got to keep doing it otherwise you’re going to be oppressed,” said Runnels.

When he arrived, what he found was SFPD had shut down the road to cars, pedestrians and skateboarders.

Police said the annual skateboarding event was scheduled for Saturday, and despite social media posts saying it was canceled, police and many skateboarders still showed up.

“I talked to the cops and said, ‘What am I allowed to do?’ and they said once you hop over that fence you’re arrested,” said Runnels about his attempt to still skate down the hill.

But Amir Lofton decided to test it, he rode down a small portion of the hill between the barricades.

“It’s fun, it gives you some adrenaline,” said Lofton.

He didn’t get in trouble, but say it doesn’t compare to years past.

In 2023, police cited and arrested hundreds of peoplethey came out in riot gear and lined up, blocking the street.

Runnels believes SFPD’s efforts to control the event just ended up escalating things.

“Once the force comes out, that’s when people start to react and I feel like that’s what happened last year,” Runnels said.

But Police Chief Bill Scott said they’re just trying to keep people safe.

“We want people to have fun with their skateboards,” said Scott about their effort to control the event. “But what we don’t want and we can’t have is a community that’s been taken over with criminal activity, vandalism, assaults on officers, assaults on the public.”

Scott said many community members don’t want the hill bombing to happen.

Sarah Jane Fairless lives nearby, and she said she has mixed feelings about the event. While she likes how fun and unique it is, she feels it’s become unsafe.

“The past couple years it has gotten really violent and a lot of property has gotten destroyed and so much graffiti and one of our neighbors was punched in the head, he was an elderly gentleman, so it’s taken a pretty negative turn and because of that we’re not fully in support of it happening,” she said.

Some skateboarders still found a way to get their ride in. They moved to other side of Dolores Park, at 18th and Church street. A smaller Hill Bomb took place, as some law enforcement officers looked on.

Omar Hernandez got to ride down the hill and hopes the event will continue.

“I feel like this can work, if the city works with us, we’ll do it once a year, if you see how many people, it just makes us happy,” said Hernandez.

What will happen next year is up in the air, but police say the event is unofficial and unsanctioned, making it difficult to execute safely.

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