The skateboarder who has been locked up for nine months since being caught on tape whacking a park ranger with his skateboard officially pleaded guilty today and became immediately eligible for parole.
Curtis Tanner, 20, pleaded guilty to simple assault for the violent encounter on August 15, 2014, which was caught on cell phone video and went viral.
Tanner apologized to the park ranger and to the city of Philadelphia at his sentencing hearing.
He was sentenced to a sentence of time served to 23 months, which means he remained incarcerated after sentencing but could immediately pursue parole. Hewas also sentenced to two years’ probation with mandatory anger management.
“Hehas served 280 days on this case,” said prosecutor Samuel Haaz, who handled the case. “That’s pretty substantial.”
Tanner, of Pottstown,was originally charged with aggravated assault becausehe attacked a city employee.
Erron Williams, the park ranger who Tanneris seen attacking in the video,did not sustain serious injuries or require medical attention during the attack.
Williamstestified in a preliminary hearingthat he peacefully asked Tanner and his friends to disperse, as skateboarding is forbidden in LOVE Park.
Tanner responded by beating him, kicking him and spitting on him, he testified. He stated during that hearing that he did not fight back and was completely non-violent through the encounter.
Watch the video below:
But video that went public after Tanner was arrestedshowed another side of the story.
In that video, Williams can be seen screaming threats and swinging his fists at Tanner(see below).
“It’s my opinion based on the two videos that it was a mutual fight between the two of them which is part of the simple assault statute,” said Tanner’s defense attorney Samuel DiMateo.
According to Haaz, the city agreed to a guilty plea on the lesser charge of simple assault in part becauseWilliams acknowledged that he should have “reacted differently.”
“He wanted to give Curtis Tanner a second chance,” Haaz said.