MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) — A teenage boy is in the hospital after wiping out at Memphis' new skate park in Midtown. He was not wearing a helmet and neither were dozens of other skaters abc24.com spotted Sunday afternoon.
According to park rules, wearing a helmet is mandatory. Skaters say they don't like wearing helmets.
When we reminded them about the rules, they started swearing and threatening an ABC News crew.
A Memphis police officer tried to enforce the park's rules on Sunday, but it didn't work. Kids without helmets came right back in the park after the officer left.
"If you think you have the ability to skate without a helmet you should,” said a skater Dan Hood. “A lot of times a helmet gets distracting when you skate."
Signs are posted to remind people about the risks. During the grand opening last week, the Mayor pleaded with skaters to be safe.
“Please, please, please use the helmet and follow all the safety rules,” said Mayor A C Wharton.
But many skaters don't seem to care.
"I've already broken a few bones and to break another one is nothing out of the ordinary,” said Hood. "None of my friends wear helmets. I guess, just stick with the crew.”
Parents are split about the issue.
Tamatha Smitherman is the mother of an 11 year old. She said, "My son doesn't wear a helmet. He doesn't like wearing helmets. You can't live your life in fear."
"As long as my kids are under my supervision I want them to practice being safe because injuries can happen quickly,” said another mother, Jennifer Campbell. “I work at the MED so I see all kinds of crazy things that could've been prevented if people were using proper safety precautions."
On Tuesday, the Memphis City Council will have a second reading on an ordinance requiring skaters to wear helmets. Mayor Wharton says he supports it and will sign it if it passes.