New cameras catch skateboarders

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Big brother is bringing the hammer down on skateboarders at James Brown Arena.

In the three weeks since the 16 cameras were installed at James Brown Arena, many skateboarders have been caught on the property.  Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Kendrick Brinson/Staff
In the three weeks since the 16 cameras were installed at James Brown Arena, many skateboarders have been caught on the property.

New security cameras were installed there to help catch vandals and ward off vagrants.

But instead, the 16 cameras posted around the building are leading to a crackdown on what officials said has been a menace they weren't aware of - skaters.

Since the cameras went online three weeks ago, security guards have begun chasing away skateboarders who were using the wide staircases and steep rails to practice tricks.

"They still don't know how we caught them," said Richard Isdell, the chairman of the Coliseum Authority's Building and Grounds Committee.

In addition to damage caused to the steps or railings and the liability of having them on arena property, officials think the skaters also could be responsible for breaking a pair of glass doors, said Eddie Rhodes, the arena's engineering manager. It cost $300 to replace them.

Mr. Rhodes said he wished the police would do more to stop skaters downtown, but they might not be causing enough damage to warrant prosecution.

Skateboarding is rarely reported as a crime and probably is more the source of nuisance calls than actual property damage, sheriff's Lt. Tony Walden said.

Besides deterring unwanted outsiders, arena officials also hope the $15,000 spent on cameras will improve internal security, Mr. Isdell said.

Incidents that take place could be reviewed on videotape instead of relying on witness accounts, he said.

Also, there would be a video record of problems such as fights or vandalism that take place during an event at the arena, Mr. Isdell said.

Officials plan to set up a live Web feed of the cameras that staff and authority members can access from home or work with a password, he said.

Reach Justin Boron at (706) 823-3215 or justin.boron@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (23) Add comment
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iletuknow
8
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iletuknow 06/30/07 - 01:26 am
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Relax: their probably the

Relax: their probably the most talented folks that ever played there.

skeptical
84
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skeptical 06/30/07 - 05:35 am
0
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Perhaps the Coliseum

Perhaps the Coliseum Authority should morph the Arena into a skate park - at least somebody's using it!!!!

nofrills
0
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nofrills 06/30/07 - 05:50 am
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Skateboarders are rude nasty

Skateboarders are rude nasty ill mannered punks who harass anybody in their path. Since when do we call skateboarding a talent? Augusta needs to give tickets for riding them where they are not supposed to. I have gone shopping on the other side of Augusta just so I don’t have to deal with them downtown. Skateboarders need their own park with their moms and dads paying the cost to insure and operate. You want your kid to skate then pay the yearly fee for him or her to do so and this way they can’t sue the city. Just a thought!

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/30/07 - 05:52 am
0
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A skate park would be nice,

A skate park would be nice, but just because someone is having fun doesn't mean they're not being destructive. It's good to know the arena is finally trying to do something about security. With more effort maybe some of the concerns about the neighborhood could be overcome.

LouLou
6
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LouLou 06/30/07 - 06:05 am
0
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I agree with skeptical! Even

I agree with skeptical! Even if someone's performing there the price is so high no one can afford them. Least while they are there they aren't out robbing, stealing, attacking someone or killing!

pantherluvcik
628
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pantherluvcik 06/30/07 - 06:44 am
0
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I think they should build a

I think they should build a skate park here in Augusta, the kids need something to occupy their time. We need to start complaining about these kids who wear these heelys or skate tennis shoes in grocery stores or Walmart. They are not good places to skate around in. I was in Walmart and this child was skating around in them, lost her balance and fell into my 18 month old son. She made him hit his head on the cement floors they have there. I had to take him to the Prompt care, he still has a lump on the back of his head. But it could have been worse, and I never saw this girls parents before I left.

Edward B. Turner
69
Points
Edward B. Turner 06/30/07 - 07:01 am
0
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If only Isdell and the rest

If only Isdell and the rest of the Authority members were as vigilant about getting quality acts into the arena as they are in attempting to get rid of skateboarders! Don't they have bigger fish to fry? Priorities, please,,,,

luckie
2
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luckie 06/30/07 - 07:17 am
0
0
I believe there is a proper

I believe there is a proper place and time to skateboard but to ban it totally and have designated places only deters kids from having fun. Skateboarding is an art. You should see what kids in big cities can do. It is also exercise. Wrestling and football are dangerous. So is swiimming and gymnastics. AS long as signs are posted, that should relieve one of liabilities. Kids have to skate on concrete. They have closed down stardust, the old regal and crystal river. There is not a whole lot for kids to do. We need a small zoo or an amusement center.

lady_alessandra
3
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lady_alessandra 06/30/07 - 07:58 am
0
0
Augusta has a skate park on

Augusta has a skate park on Damascus Road near the Aquatics Center. http://www.augustaga.gov/departments/recreation/exreme_sports.asp

Does_it_really_matter
1
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Does_it_really_matter 06/30/07 - 09:57 am
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exactly how many skate parks

exactly how many skate parks are needed? There is already one on Damascus Rd. If the skaters can get to the civic center, they can get to the skateboard park. My concern is that parents have no clue in the world where thier kids are late at night.

NEone
6
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NEone 06/30/07 - 09:59 am
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"They still don't know how we

"They still don't know how we caught them," said Richard Isdell. After this article I guess the kids will figure it out.

kudzo-n-roses
2
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kudzo-n-roses 06/30/07 - 10:05 am
0
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lol...I do not think a small

lol...I do not think a small zoo is going to make the skaters go away.......

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 06/30/07 - 10:51 am
0
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The first poster could be

The first poster could be right! But then comes another who is totally tough, paints EVERY skateboarded with the same broad punk brush. Just as in any culture or subculture, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly. Skateboarding on public and private property without permission can and does cause damage - so why NOT build a park somewhere in the midtown or downtown area? It doesn't have to be with public funds - some enterprising individual or group can do it and charge an entry fee. Personally for the most part I am against having every movement tracked by government cameras - I believe that goes the very heart of the amendment which is supposed to prevent us from unreasonable search and seizure. On the other hand, a place such as the civic center might be one of the few places that surveillance should be allowed. There are several cameras on the streets of Savannah which are viewable online. So if a crime occurs in sight of one of those exactly WHO would be monitoring and what reaction should be taken. I say shoo away the civic center skateboarders but for heaven's sake don't make them into some kind of criminals.

2centsworth
1
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2centsworth 06/30/07 - 11:36 am
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Maybe the City should just

Maybe the City should just build a fence around the Arena funded by the fines imposed on trespassers. The City should not be funding the recreational requirements of such a small constituency. Say - how about any skateboarders out there who vote in local elections - post a remark. (Let's see how many of theose there are.)

bone
23
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bone 06/30/07 - 11:42 am
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holly, i think someone was

holly, i think someone was suggesting we put the skaters in a small zoo.

pointman73
0
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pointman73 06/30/07 - 03:05 pm
0
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Skateboarders are a menace?

Skateboarders are a menace? Kids doing something NOT illegal, and people want to complain?

legal_works
1
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legal_works 06/30/07 - 06:28 pm
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i agree with NEone.. that was

i agree with NEone.. that was my first thought, but I totally disagree with nofrills.. I have 2 boys that sk8board and they are well-mannered children, who like to just have fun.. At least they are not on drugs and everything else.. they do have something to occupy their minds, BUT, I have a skate ramp in my back yard, so they are not involved with "area skateparks"...

Lucys Love
0
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Lucys Love 06/30/07 - 09:11 pm
0
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Skateboarders are not the

Skateboarders are not the little assholes everyone keeps portraying them as. My son is a skateboarder and skates the skate park in Augusta. Everytime I take him the kids are well mannered and get along with everyone. I guess I feel the same about the guys that wear their shorts hanging off their [filtered word] and wearing big shirts to cover up their damn guns!! Lets put a stop to [filtered word] showing shorts. This seems to be a bigger problem than skateboarders. And far as a skate park........I cant wait until Columbia County gets theirs built. I used to work for the city of Disgusta, I mean Augusta, and I used to live there also.......I did jump the fence and yes the grass is greener on the otherside. Columbia County's commissioners are more level headed and care about the county and it shows. Augusta commissioners are worried about who can keep the smell stirred up and the Black and White crap on going. Thank God I live in COLUMBIA COUNTY GA!!!!!

legal_works
1
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legal_works 06/30/07 - 09:19 pm
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Way to go Zachsumm.. NICELY

Way to go Zachsumm.. NICELY SAID...

admin
0
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admin 06/30/07 - 11:22 pm
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Zachsumm: Please refrain from

Zachsumm: Please refrain from using profanity while using the public comments feature of the website. If you have questions, refer to the terms of service available at the top of the comments section.

AugustaSkater45
0
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AugustaSkater45 04/21/08 - 08:16 pm
0
0
Skateboarding is an art, a

Skateboarding is an art, a lifestyle, a refuge, and a way of expression. I don't see how that is a crime in any shape or form. Now there are some skaters who talk trash and are rude but that is a very small pecentage of us. 98% of all skaters want to do nothing more than to have some fun and be individuals when skating downtown. Skateboarding is an individual sport, there are no teams, no rules, it's whatever you want it to be. We do not want to be labeled misfits, but we dont really care if we are, cause we're used to it. And another thing, don't even try to tell me that the city doesn't have the "money" to fix the tiny little marks and scratches that every shallow-minded pesron gets all worked up about. Augusta is growing rapidly and all the city officials are just wasting all this money on new complexes and buildings that we don't even need, and they could repair our little scratches we leave with pocket change. SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME. Please, if you're reading this right now, listen to Lupe Fiasco's "Kick, Push". It is a wonderful selection of poetry that expresses what all skateboarders feel about confidence, freedom, dedication, and passion.Please Augusta, HEAR US OUT

BigPix
0
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BigPix 04/21/08 - 11:26 pm
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Speed racing is fun. Some

Speed racing is fun. Some illegal acts are harmless. I could go on with more fallacies. Skateboarding is an individualistic endeavor. I would not support any initiative to create a public skateboard park utilizing public funds. Some private investors have yet to recoup their investments in privately funded skateboard parks. With all due respect to law abiding skateboarders, please pursue your sport in your private backyards or under-utilized public spaces. Save yourselves the disappointment. Public support for your cause simply will not be forthcoming.

Bing0
14
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Bing0 04/22/08 - 04:08 am
0
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Please explain how "a menace

Please explain how "a menace we weren't aware of" can possibly be a menace.

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