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Yes. Skateboards can be used as deadly weapons. I am attorney Michael Ehline. As a youth, I was a “skate punk” (a bad guy) and rode a purple Simms, Lester with purple and black B-52 wheels and heavy Independent Trucks. If you don’t know what any of that stuff is, I’ll explain it all later from a lawyer’s perspective (a good guy) with more than ordinary knowledge of the laws across state lines.
Generally speaking, I can attest to the deadliness and effectiveness of a skateboard as a deadly weapon from a victim’s perspective, defending with and being assaulted by an attacker wielding a skateboard.
Yes. I was beaten unconscious with a skateboard when skating the Blow Hole in Yorba Linda, CA. I received a concussion, a broken hand, and a shattered foot, and I suffered lacerations, cuts, and bruises on my face, head, arms, back, and torso.
If I had a gun, you had better believe I’d used it to defeat the attack. I still experience problems with my arthritic hand and shattered foot, as the tendons and connective tissue never healed properly.
Many people associate Van’s Tennis Shoe-wearing skateboarders from my generation as rebels from a “skate or die” Gen-X past. But that bad boy image has lasted, making many women and children use the other side of the street when faced with street skaters smoking weed, drinking beer, and tearing up planters and drainage ditches as half-pipes.
Not every state requires you to flee from danger before confronting and fighting it. However, if you wanted to flee an attacker on your “assault skateboard,” it’s not a very efficient mode of transportation for a victim to use.
Nor is a skateboard an effective method of escape from a crime scene, primarily after it was recently utilized to assault another person. It could have popped the trucks out, hindering your ride to freedom.
The locals-only culture has also survived. Naturally, fights break out over the hot spots to jump in on your skater. But you may have to protect yourself if you experience bullying from locals. Even then, there is no guarantee that you can fight out of a group of angry skaters. A heavy skateboard could cause a lot of destruction if wielded to aid your escape.
Conversely, a bully or their gang could beat you or even the security guard there to guard the property to death with their skaters. Either way, it’s a no-win situation. If a court does help you, don’t expect a broke skater to pay you much in the form of damages or restitution for your medical bills, pain, and suffering.
The property owner or property owners could be prosecuted criminally, along with both the defenders and the attackers. At the same time, the victim awaits the jury to return with a verdict that may not prove self-defense.
If someone dies, expect an obsessed parent and the decedent’s loved one to file a civil wrongful death claim against the property owners and everyone else. They will always consider it murder. And no parent will even admit their bundle of joy could harm anyone.
It’s no use arguing with them, even when a witness or video evidence shows the decedent was attacking you, leaving you with no choice but to defend or attack your way out of a kill zone on private property. Even with witnesses, they could still be biased. So ultimately, you can use a skateboard to cause significant bodily injury.
But caveat emptor (buyer beware), it’s better to stay away from crazy people who care about turf or like to burn and riot while skateboarding. (For example, the attacker in the Rittenhouse case could have easily killed Kyle had Kyle not stopped his attacker with an AR-15).
A deadly weapon is defined in California law as any instrument that may be used to kill, harm, or incapacitate a human being. In the Rittenhouse case, the prosecutor argued that Rittenhouse should have “taken his beating” and allowed his attackers to continue striking him in the head with the heavy skateboard trucks, impacting the back of Kyle’s skull.
Although the prosecutor knew a skateboard could kill, his argument was since Kyle had a gun, he deserved to get the shit beat out of him by somebody at a BLM riot, which was setting fire to businesses and looting stores nearby.
By most journalists in the mainstream press, Rittenhouse was immediately labeled a racist and white supremacist to dehumanize him for exercising his Second Amendment rights. They argued that the convicted, violent felon he had just killed, Anthony Huber, was trying to make a citizens arrest and disarm Kyle by chasing him and striking him in the head.
After all, Rittenhouse had just shot another violent rioter who was also chasing Kyle because Kyle tried to put out a fire ready to ignite a gas station lit by the “protestor.” The anti-Second Amend faction argues that skateboarding is not a crime and that Rittenhouse is a racist who should have “taken his beating.”
After all, they reasoned, Rittenhouse never underwent a background check to carry the AR15, so he deserved what he had coming. You can’t shoot unless you have your papers in order. At least, that’s the point.
The fact the people who chased Kyle and struck him were audibly heard on video saying “kill him” and “fuck him up” has no relevance from the prosecutor’s gun-free utopian perspective. Their answer was to paint Rittenhouse as a white nationalist “vigilante.”
I am the first person to say Rittenhouse would have been better off staying home. But as the jury determined, Rittenhouse was carrying and legally possessing a firearm, which is an inalienable right.
A skateboard is just as deadly as a gun when in the hands of a determined felon criminal. That’s what the jury found here. And that is precisely how it happened, despite the false and allegedly defamatory statements we heard from CNN, MSNBC, Atlantic, WaPo, and the usual sensationalist media pundits.
The news media’s idea was to convict Rittenhouse in the press, ignore the fact a skateboard kills, and avoid being sued for defamation. When the jury returned a guilty verdict, the media pressured them to return.
It was even alleged that NBC followed jurors around in a potential attempt to intimidate them. We know that BLM and ANTIFA supporters have violently broken into residential housing complexes to get at their political rivals.
So the intimidation is real if they can find you and hold a “mostly peaceful” protest with Molotov cocktails outside your child’s bedroom, for example. The judge determined this behavior was wrong and prohibited the news agency and its friends from entering the court once he learned about the potential plot.
The media’s failure to accept facts, and inject made-up narratives with zero foundation, has all but assured Kyle Rittenhouse would eclipse Nick Sandman as the largest-ever defamation award granted against big tech and their “progressive” allies in the federal, state, and local media.
I don’t feel using a weapon for personal defense constitutes a death warrant to be beaten with a skateboard and a bunch of hardened, convicted, violent felons in Wisconsin. The threat is real.
Self-defense enthusiasts argue that if ANTIFA and BLM, and their news media allies don’t want ordinary citizens to defend themselves with a gun, they can always call for a Constitutional Convention and prevent the government from recognizing your pre-existing right to keep and bear arms.
But what about the damage that can be done with a car or a skateboard as a deadly weapon? Progressive advocacy organizations are screaming to take away your expensive guns and ammo, but will assault skateboards soon be on the Roberti-Roos list of registered assault weapons?
“But this is the state of public prosecution modernly, with prosecutors backing criminals and victimizing victims according to many public safety organizations, including police unions,” said Greg Pope, USMC Military Police, Ret. In the meantime, buy a skateboard and learn how to use it. It may be your only tool of defense.
Although a skateboard is not designed to attack people, like other items of sports equipment, it’s easy for any reasonable person of average intelligence to understand just how deadly a skateboard can be, whether it’s wielded or thrown to strike a person in a fight actively.
You only have to get hit by a loose board in the shins or head once to know how deadly a skateboard can be. Let’s break it down from a scientific perspective.
Skateboard decks range in weight from 7 to 10 pounds. It will be composed of between 6 and 9 layers of pressed wood and epoxy with a thickness of about 10 millimeters.
The weight will be concentrated on a region about 1cm by some inches long along the approximately 5cm base of your skull, in the Rittenhouse example above, owing to the wheels/bearings and trucks on each end.
Although a skateboard may not be very effective as a throwing weapon, it is a classic example of a bludgeoning weapon. It remains large and heavy enough to cause a fatal blow to a person’s head easily.
Could you not do it? The violent felons who were burning buildings argued to authorities they were heroes, chasing after Kyle, trying to disarm some crazy kid with a gun who should be in school. They say that, as the prosecutors, Kyle should have let them grab the barrel of his gun, become disarmed, and been beaten by the rest os Kyle, heard them shout, “kill him.”
“That’s absolutely the American way of life to them. Justice means equity, equity means mob justice, and defunding police officers,” said Kathy Wanser, a single mom living in Carlsbad, CA.
“That is exactly the definition of vigilantism being attributed to Rittenhouse,” according to Jack Daniel, former Wisconsin City Attorney.
ANTIFA teaches its members organization to use makeshift weapons like frozen water bottles. Their anti-fascist team uses these missiles to throw at police, business owners, and other people in or around areas they throw riots.
Other weapons these “pro-democracy” groups use to harm people are hammers and screwdrivers. Although a skateboard isn’t as effective as an AR-15 at fending off a violent rioter, it’s often enough to intimidate multiple attackers from assaulting you. A group may turn tail when faced with a dude swinging his skater violently.
In the Rittenhouse case, his attackers saw he had a gun, yet that didn’t stop them from chasing him, as they shouted: “kill!”
If you connect and land your skateboard on someone’s head, you will see stars when those trucks make contact, assuming you are not knocked out entirely.
Several types of skateboards, from electric skateboards, gas-powered skateboards, trick skateboards, and street skateboards, are used for differing circumstances by different types of skateboarders.
If you can gain the advantage and attack someone from behind, your skateboard will most effectively kill a person. The board’s rugged wheels, trucks, and hard edges can exert incredible inertia and force. Imagine being struck in the windpipe with the edge.
You can also use your skater as a shield to fend off another skateboard. As the attacker in Rittenhouse demonstrated, the board as a weapon is best when used for surprise attacks, especially from behind.
On November 25, 2015, in Santa Ana, California, a man died after being struck in the head with a skateboard while engaged in mutual combat. (Source).
However, in that case, ABC News reported this was a justifiable homicide, similar to the Rittenhouse case. In another terrible issue, the Humboldt County jury convicted a man of involuntary manslaughter for the skateboard killing death of Bernhard “Ben” Britain, 58, on
Christmas in 2018. The fact relate the decedent died three days after helping defend another person in a physical altercation at the Burre Center in Eureka, CA.
The facts relate that a skateboard wielded by Jason Ryan Barnes was used to batter a laundromat employee. Barnes tried to help, and he was beaten with a skateboard.
“An autopsy by Napa County Forensic Pathologist Joseph Cohen determined that Mr. Bertain’s spleen had ruptured due to an expanding hematoma caused by blunt force trauma to the torso.” (Source North Coast Journal).
Under California law, you have no duty to retreat or run from an attacker. As we saw in the Rittenhouse case, he tried to run away, only to be hit from and attacked from behind. Had Kyle stood his ground and fired, he would have avoided the risk of being killed.
If you don’t have an actual weapon like a gun, that clumsy skateboard can easily smash the hell out of your attacker. Since It’s not declared a gun by the state, it doesn’t have the stigma of a gun to the emotionally driven public at large.
Security guards and property owners hate skateboarders. Skateboards and their use can cause great bodily harm. The Kyle Rittenhouse case highlighted the way a determined attacker can use a skateboard to maim or kill a law-abiding citizen near their favorite skate spot in town.
Just about any small, blunt object, including a skateboard, can kill in an attack or while on the defense. The defense argued that a young kid, Kyle Rittenhouse, would be dead if it weren’t for guns. To doubt that is to ignore that all three of his attackers were violent felons, say Kyle’s defense team and lawyers. Don’t forget there was no cop on duty patrolling this area that night helping.
The intent of rioters acting as a mob that night was clear. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may have no other way to protect yourself than your skateboard. The best way to avoid using a skateboard as a weapon is to live or move to an area where the locals respect authority and the rule of law. You can’t afford the costs of defending a murder case, even if you’re innocent.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.