August 31, 2012 in City

Felony charges sought in skateboard attack

Two 12-year-olds accused of hitting boy at Hillyard Skate Park
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Police are recommending felony assault charges be filed against two 12-year-old boys for an attack on a 13-year-old at the Hillyard Skate Park.

Spokane police Sgt. Jason Hartman did not identify the suspects, who have been arrested, but said detectives submitted a request for prosecutors to charge the two 12-year-olds with second-degree assault.

The victim’s mother, Connie Kysar, said her son Riley Kysar was confronted at the skate park on Aug. 20 by about a dozen teens. They demanded his helmet, but assaulted him even after he gave it to them, she said.

One attacker hit the boy in the face with a skateboard. Riley Kysar suffered a broken nose, concussion, broken jaw and fractured arm, his mother said.

“I hope that these kids will see it as a lesson,” Connie Kysar said. “But it’s sad that 12-year-olds have to go to jail. I do feel sad for their families. But on the other hand, I have to have justice for my son and for this community.”

Kysar said she had been at the skate park with her son; at about 8 p.m. she had to leave to pick up her three daughters around the corner. She had been away from her son only about five minutes when she learned he had been assaulted, she said.

“Right now, all his food goes through a blender,” she said. “He has to eat everything with a straw. He can’t open his mouth.” But she added, “I’m just thankful my son is alive. It could have been worse.”

Kysar told her story Monday to the Spokane City Council in hopes of increasing security around the skate park.

She asked for increased police patrols and for the parks department to install lights and possibly surveillance cameras.

“What is it going to take?” she said after she testified to the council.

Ian Moody, a medical marijuana activist who recently lost a bid for Congress, has also joined the cause and organized a protest at the skate park earlier this week to highlight drug dealing and bullying at the park. Moody, who also spoke at the City Council meeting, said city officials had been giving Kysar the run-around.

“It’s no longer a safe place for the average kid who wants to practice his skating or other alternative sports skills,” Moody said.

Despite her son’s injuries, Kysar said she can eventually forgive the assailants.

“These kids are supposed to be our future. It is so sad,” she said. “It could be worse the next time.”

Reporter Jonathan Brunt contributed to this report.

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