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10/2 Update: Signs at the Lynch Family Skatepark in Cambridge have been updated with new, later hours, less than two days after two men were arrested for trespassing after dark. The park is now open from dawn until 9 p.m.
Though lights were on at the time of Sunday's arrests, state officials say that before signs were installed, the park officially closed at dusk.
The lights in the skate park were on, but authorities say the park is not yet open for nighttime skateboarding.
Two men were arrested Sunday evening under recently installed floodlights at the Lynch Family Skatepark in Cambridge. Officials say the park currently currently closes at dusk.
Twenty-seven-year-old Derek Hanlon and 24-year-old Askia Burns were taken into custody after a Massachusetts State Police trooper repeatedly instructed the skateboarders to leave the park, both from his cruiser's PA system and in-person after exiting the vehicle, according to a police statement.
Hanlon's contentious arrest was captured on video by several bystanders and shared widely on social media, prompting outrage by some in the skating community. In its statement, state police said the trooper "took necessary action to overcome the defendant's resistance and make the arrest quickly before the situation escalated further."
Many questioned whether the skaters had broken any rules in the first place by remaining in the skate park after dark, pointing out that new lighting was installed in the park over the summer. In videos, Hanlon can be heard asking why he was being arrested.
"The lights at Lynch Family Skate Park are officially up and running," the Charles River Conservancy wrote in an August tweet that resurfaced after the arrests. "As the days get shorter this fall, skaters will get to skate into the evening."
The park is not operated by the conservancy, but rather by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
In an email to WBUR, the department said the park is currently open from dawn until dusk, but will stay open until 9 p.m. only after new signs are made and posted.
On Monday afternoon, visitors to the park observed officials installing one new sign that did not reflect new hours, but rather confirmed that the park is only open until dusk.
A state police spokesman said in an email that "there was at least one sign [Sunday] night observed by the trooper indicating the park closed once it got dark. Somehow, after we left the park, the sign disappeared. DCR replaced it [Monday]."
Lights for the Lynch park have been in the works since its opening in fall of 2015, when organizers hoped the sight would serve as a year-round attraction for the city.
The two men arrested have been released on $40 bail. Hanlon is charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. Burns, who was observed walking back toward the park after the first altercation, is charged with trespassing.
This article was originally published on October 01, 2018.
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