Santa Barbara- S County

UCSB skateboarder appears in court after controversial arrest

Arrest was caught on video and posted to YouTube

UCSB skateboarder in court

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A UC Santa Barbara student made her first court appearance Monday,  following a controversial arrest on campus.

Erin Morgan, 22, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment on charges of resisting arrest and misdemeanor battery on an officer.

Morgan was arrested by University police on Feb. 27 for skateboarding in a prohibited area.

The zoology major said she was leaving The Arbor when an officer stopped her and asked her to read a posted sign. 

"I looked up for the first time and saw the sign. It's pretty small and on a pole. It's a little skateboarder with a red line through it and it says $197 dollar fine," she said. Morgan said she's been skating in The Arbor for four years, and never knew it was prohibited.

The officer asked Morgan to wait but she did not and admits that move was a mistake.

"I definitely made the wrong decision and would not do it over again," Morgan said.

Morgan did not get very far, and before she knew it, she was on the ground with two officers on top of her.

"He chased me down, grabbed me by my backpack and threw me to the ground," she said. "The other officer that was citing skate boarders, came over and they both were on my back and used their weight to force me to the ground. I hit my chest and chin on the ground."

The take down was captured on cell phone video and posted to YouTube.

Morgan said she suffered scrapes and bruises, and spent hours in jail.

Morgan said she feels the response was disproportionate to the crime and unnecessary.

Her next court date is in April.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to UCPD for comment both after the incident and after Morgan's court date.

The department has not returned calls or emails and has not issued a statement.


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