So yesterday Andy was given a ticket for not wearing "safety pads". He was wearing a helmet, but when Janelle showed up without a helmet at the exact moment two Baywatch cops showed up he told her to meet him outside the park so she wouldn't get hassled for being helmetless. He tried to slowly ride his bike between the two cops who were approaching the park, who hadn't yet asked to speak with him (in fact they had called two helmetless riders out of the park, both of whom they let slink off in the shitstorm that followed). As he tried to squeeze by them they grabbed him and his bike and started accusing him of trying to flee ("that looks like fleeing to me!").Andy and Janelle explained that he was merely trying to get by to come and see his girlfriend. Concerned about looking stupid the cops proceeded to write Andy the first ticket I have ever heard of for "no safety pads in bike park" and after a heated discussion implored all of us to follow up in the matter. His exact words were, "I would love for you to make a complaint to Parks and Rec or the Department."
Now, I think we all know that they are serious about helmets at the new park, and I am sure that over time things will ease up. Personally, I never found wearing a helmet that big a deal and Crazy Chris is talking about trying to get some nice helmets donated to keep at the park. However, this is not a case of enforcing the often warned about helmet law.
This was one of the nicest guys I know, who goes to work all day and comes to the park (that he volunteered his precious weekends to build) to ride (with a helmet) getting HARRASSED. Asked whether or not they were going to give us all "no safety pad tickets" the cop asked if I wanted one "cause he could give it". Janelle politely reminded them (at the top of her voice) that they are here to "Serve and Protect" not act like high school bullies trying to save face when they make a stupid mistake.
Personally, I didn't donate my weekends to the Park so that the police could keep us corralled in one place and come by daily to shake us down for 120 bucks to keep the city afloat in these tough economic times.
So, if you were there and want to make a complaint, lets take the officer's advice and let them know what we thought about the situation.
Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation: 420-5270
Santa Cruz Police Department
155 Center St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831)420-5800 Santa Cruz Police Department
Officer Clark was the guy who wrote the ticket (Badge number 183) and his buddy who invited us to make a complaint name began with a T (Badge number 143).
Also, who is down to make a "Free Andy" shirt (maybe a handcuffed skummy bear)? Beerman? Check Country Clubbin, Santa Cruz's number one site for breaking news, for updates on Andy's legal battle.