State child welfare investigators want to speak to a Jacksonville father about an online video that shows him kicking his skateboarding 6-year-old son down a steep park ramp.
The Department of Children & Families will look into the video, which shows the father and son at Kona Skatepark in suburban Jacksonville. DCF spokesman John Harrell told The Florida Times-Union that the investigation began Saturday after authorities saw the video and people on social media expressed outrage.
The father, Marcus Crossland, said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office wants to talk with him, according to the newspaper. He refused to comment further.
According to the Times-Union, the video was posted Friday by 13-year-old Ryan Stephens, who said a friend shot it at a skateboard ramp known as “Big Brown.” The video went viral over the weekend.
Stephens told the newspaper he confronted Crossland after seeing the video to ask him why he pushed his son.
“He said ‘because he needs to learn.’ I was like ‘pushing him down is not teaching him how to drop in.’ And then he said ‘do you think you can raise him better than me?’ and I said ‘yes,’ ” Stephens told the newspaper.
Martin Ramos, the park’s operator, told WTEV-TV that Crossland’s son, Dino, continued to skate for a while after the incident.
Ramos told the Times-Union that the boy and his father were regulars at the park and that he has never seen the father do anything like this before. He said the father seemed very remorseful and was “just caught up in the moment.” However, he asked them to not return to the park for a while.