Hundreds of police officers in riot gear shut down the notorious Dolores Hill Bomb event Saturday night, arresting and detaining dozens of adults and teenagers in a chaotic scene.
The wild skate party where hundreds of daredevil skaters bomb the big hill on Dolores Street next to Dolores Park have been organized informally through word-of-mouth and social media for several years, usually during the summer but always spontaneously — because the city of San Francisco hates them.
Sure, in the past, there have been some fights, tagging self-driving cars, injuries, and even an unfortunate cyclist death in 2020. But SFPD also has faced costly lawsuits for use of force in breaking up the event, like in 2017 when an officer pushed a skater going downhill into a squad car, so the skater sued and won $275,000.
From yesterdays Dolores Hill bomb: What are the weapons in these pictures and video? Is it standard procedure to point them at close range at people/kids? (Vid found on IG. Last pic by me.)@LondonBreed @SFPD— Bernie McGinn (@bernie) July 9, 2023
cc: @seisinenfeoffin @DeanPreston @harveymilkclub @MLNow @jrivanob pic.twitter.com/Ct3osa44x4
It was another showdown this year. SF’s strong skateboarding community was out in force. Hundreds of participants had gathered for the event, as videos on social media show, amid a heavy police presence and barricades. Mission Local reported that more than 100 officers were involved. Many cops in riot gear tried to stand in front of skaters at the at the top of the hill on Dolores Street to prevent them from going down the hill, according to SFGATE, and when skaters tried to go around to Church Street, even more police showed up there to stop them.
Line of riot police shutting down Dolores Hillbomb this year. Officers are walking with riot gear down Dolores Blvd., confronted by some skateboarders. pic.twitter.com/J1GWEGH63O— Aldo Toledo (@aldot29) July 9, 2023
Police reportedly ordered the crowd to disperse and began to arrest many members soon after. Many juveniles were reportedly zip-tied. Some witnesses say that police “trapped” them and also used violence. As Mission Local reported, one 14-year old said the police were “trying to trap us … and [an officer] tried to hit me. He swung [the baton] at me and said ‘Move!’ and now all of them are under arrest.”
SFPD issued a statement Sunday morning that said that around 6 p.m., officers witnessed the use of fireworks and received reports of vandalism. Shortly after 7 p.m., a 16-year-old individual allegedly "spat in the face" of an officer at Cumberland and Dolores. The department stated that during the subsequent arrest, the crowd began hurling lit fireworks, smoke bombs, glass bottles, and metal cans at the officers, causing them to be struck.
According to the statement, SFPD also said a total of 113 people were arrested — 81 juveniles and 32 adults over 18. Most juveniles faced the same three misdemeanor charges: inciting riot, conspiracy, and failure to disperse, according to their notice-to-appear slips. According to KPIX, one adult was cited and released for resisting arrest and a second adult was cited and released for inciting a riot. All were reportedly given court dates later in the month.
Image via Getty Images/lechatnoir.