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Skateboarder held on felony charges for LOVE Park ranger assault

Curtis Tanner, 19, was held for court on aggravated assault charges after a hearing Thursday for the beating of a LOVE Park ranger last month -- despite his lawyer arguing that the ranger was uninjured.

Cell phone video of the Aug. 25 incident when Curtis Tanner, 19 (center) is alleged to have attacked park ranger Erron Williams, 35, while two friends watched. Credit: PPD Cell phone video of the Aug. 15 incident when Curtis Tanner, 19 (center) is alleged to have attacked park ranger Erron Williams, 35, while two friends watched. Credit: PPD

Curtis Tanner, 19, of Pottstown, was held for court on aggravated assault charges after a hearing Thursday for the beating of a LOVE Park ranger last month -- despite his lawyer arguing that the ranger was uninjured.

Park ranger Erron Williams, 35, testified that he simply wanted Tanner and other skateboarders to disperse from LOVE Park when he approached them around 5:30 p.m. on August 15.

Most skateboarders left, but Tanner and his friends didn't, so Williams asked them to leave, called police and told them officers were coming.

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When Tanner's friend, a white male who has not been identified, skateboarded down the steps right toward Williams, he held his hands up to signal "Stop."

"That's when everything blew up," Williams said.

Williams testified that Tanner held his hands up "like a boxer" and said, "I've been waiting for this."

Then, he said, Tanner "rushed" Williams and knocked him over, kicking him in the leg, side and head, then spit on him before leaving, the ranger described. The incident was caught on cell phone video which went viral.

"It's all over the internet, and all over the world," Williams glumly noted during the hearing.

Defense lawyer Joseph DiMateo said charges should be dropped because Williams afterwards told a supervisor he was "fine."

But prosecutor Joseph Whitehead said Tanner is on a "downward spiral" with six arrests since April 2013.

"His conduct was way over the top," he argued. "City employees deserve more than to be kicked in the head when they're only doing their jobs."

Judge Nazario Jimenez said he only saw evidence of a simple assault, but upheld the more serious felony charge because a ranger was attacked.

 
 
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