JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Video showing what appears to be a father kicking his son down a 13-foot-tall ramp at Kona Skate Park in Arlington is still going viral, WJXT reports.
The video was posted on an Instagram group known as IgersJax, and now the Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating.
"I couldn't believe it. I understand parents get wrapped up and want kids to excel, but that's going a little too far," said parent Jamie Strong, who skates at Kona.
The owner of the skate park said the father is Marcus Crossland. He's been contacted by Jacksonville police and said he and his son are still together as a family. When asked him for his version of what happened in the video in question, he hung up the phone.
Those at Kona said the incident happened there, and they were first made aware of the incident Friday night. They then told the child who shot the video and his parents to call police and child services.
Martin Ramos, the owner of Kona, said he's known Crossland and his 6-year-old son, who's nicknamed "Dino the Dinosaur," for years.
"It's hard to look at. You see something like that and it takes your breath away," Ramos said of the video.
Ramos said the boy wasn't injured on the ramp known as Big Brown.
"Dino is just a super-cool little kid," Ramos said. "He's a really good skateboarder, well-known. He's been in the newspaper before."
Ramos said it seems Crossland and his son have a good relationship. He said Crossland won't be allowed back at the skate park, but Dino can come back with another adult to supervise him.
Because of the viral video, DCF is now looking into the family.
"The Florida Department of Children and Families is thoroughly investigating this case, not just the incident that happened, but also to see if there's any other concern regarding the family and this home and any other children in this home," DCF spokesman John Harrell said.
He said DCF is speaking with the father, the son and other people who know the family.
"This is unacceptable behavior," Harrell said. "Abuse is legally defined as any maltreatment of children that causes bruises, injuries, causes any physical scars as well. That's abuse."
Meanwhile, the viral video still has other people shaking their heads.
"I can understand being wrapped up in the whole glory of your kids skating, but there's just certain areas you can't cross," Strong said.
He said he hopes Dino will still be a skateboarder.
Jay Harris, also a father, agrees what happened in the video was out of line.
"I think a lot of fathers probably understood the frustration going through that dad's mind, I think he definitely crossed the line and needs some help," said Harris.
His son says it's scary sometimes to go down the high ramps and he appreciates when his father encourages him to go for it.
"When it comes to teaching your kids, it takes patience," said Harris. "That's the important lesson to get out of it."
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