Urban skiers in Dillon fined

Police chief hopes penalties will discourage riders from stunts

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— Since adopting a zero-tolerance stance on urban skiing and snowboarding, the Dillon Police Department has cited some 22 riders who chose to ignore warnings that riding on public property is destructive.

In early December, Dillon police began confiscating equipment from those riders caught sliding down handrails and concrete barriers around town, causing an uproar among those in the local snowboarding scene.

"We're not criminals. This is just a part of our jobs, filming in the urban environment," said New Zealand professional snowboarder Matt Smith. "I guess having run-ins with the police is sort of an occupational hazard."

So far, nine of those riders and filmers cited for unlawful conduct on public property have gone through the Silverthorne municipal court, and eight of them received a fine after pleading guilty.

Once court proceedings were finalized, the riders also got their equipment returned.

"We're hoping this gets the message across that this wont be tolerated," Dillon Police Chief Joe Wray said. "We have tried numerous things in the past to discourage it, but now the message is: If you get caught, we will now go for your pocketbook."

Those caught riding rails were fined $100, plus $400 in advance should they break the same law again in the next 12 months. The individuals filming the stunts were fined $150 plus $350 held in advance.

Filmers were charged more because their actions are viewed as an attempt to profit from a criminal act, according to Wray.

"We hate to be heavy-handed, but nothing else we have tried has worked," he said.

And it seems like riders now are taking note.

"I'm terrified to get another ticket," Smith said. "It's hard because I am trying to film for a movie this season, but I'm basically too scared to hit any street and handrails anywhere."

Comments

aichempty 5 years, 11 months ago

Real movie makers apply for permits, pay fees, post bonds, show proof of insurance, etc., and receive permission to use public facilities. Maybe these guys should give it a try.

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