A man who was caught kicking his son down a skateboard ramp has been banned from a Florida skate park temporarily after a video of the act taken by another skater went viral.
The Florida Department of Children and Families is also looking into footage of the incident, which has elicited angry responses from the Internet and other parents who regularly skate with their children at Kona Skatepark in Jacksonville, Fla.
“It kind of hits right here when you are a parent to see someone do that to a kid,” said one father, TJ Smith, who watched the footage later on his phone at the park. “That is somebody who got way too aggressive.”
In the video, the child, who is about 6 years old, is seen hesitating with his skateboard near the top of the ramp. The father seemingly becomes impatient with his son and kicks him over the edge.
It was another child, named Stephens, who confronted the father and demanded to know why he did it.
“I asked him why is he doing this, and then he said ‘because he needs to learn,’” Stephens said. “I was like, ‘Pushing him down is not teaching him how to drop in.’”
Although the boy was reportedly not injured and got back up to skate, according to onlookers, the park’s operator, Martin Ramos, said he warned the father not to come back for a while.
“Unfortunately parents get so enthusiastic about their kids and their abilities and sometimes they take it a little too far,” Ramos said. “[The father] said he was just caught up in the moment, he seemed very remorseful, he certainly understands the gravity of the situation.”