All She Had to do Was Stop
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - What started out as a minor incident involving a skateboarder in downtown Rochester Wednesday ended with a teenager in jail.
The teenager was spotted riding on a sidewalk near the Plummer Building around 8:00 AM by a downtown RPD patrol officer.
The officer put out his arm to get the teenager to stop but she ducked under it and took off, nearly hitting several pedestrians. The officer did not give chase but spotted the same teen riding on a sidewalk in the same area later in the day. The officer was standing next to his bicycle when she approached and he turned the handlebar in an effort to stop her. The teen ran into the bike and fell onto the sidewalk. As the officer was trying to talk to the teenager, some bystanders started giving him flak until a Mayo Clinic security guard intervened.
The officer arrested the teen after finding some marijuana wax in her backpack. The teen - identified as 19-year-old Maria Lopez-Tzep - is expected to be charged with a felony drug count. She is also facing charges for damaging the squad car she was transported in.
RPD Capt. John Sherwin says the officer was taking part in Pedestrian Safety week, designed to educate those in the downtown about the ban of bicycles and skateboards on sidewalks. Sherwin says the officers are handing out literature/pamphlets when they see violations. He adds, “It's an education campaign, not an enforcement campaign so the skateboarder would have received a pamphlet and been on her way.”