Credits: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE
Dylan Sage, 19, has won competitions at the Norfolk County Fair and has a sponsorship deal with a Brantford, ON, company that supplies him with free skateboards and clothes, including the red hooded pullover he wore to court in Simcoe on Monday.
But when Sage was spotted rolling through town two years ago, he was nabbed under a Norfolk County bylaw that prohibits skateboarding on sidewalks.
On Monday, Sage protested to Justice Gethin Edward and insisted he was on the road, not the sidewalk, when he was stopped.
Municipal prosecutor Michael Succucci said the officer's notes show Sage was riding "on and off" between the sidewalk and the road.
Succucci suggested a trial be held and witnesses called.
Edward pointed out to Sage that he was ticketed on two occasions for the same offence, prompting him to ask the teenager if he thought officers had "screwed up twice."
But he also noted the charges are "not the most serious" and offered to cut Sage's fines from more than $300 to $100.
Edward cautioned that something as simple as riding a skateboard on a sidewalk can lead to tragedy.
"There may be a little old lady on the sidewalk. You collide with her, she breaks a hip and ends up in hospital where she gets pneumonia and dies," he said.
Edward said his own experience of looking at case histories in law shows "this is how cases develop. Invariably, the worst-case scenario happens out of something" like this.
At the same time, Edward praised Sage for taking on a hobby that involves physical activity.
"You're going to ride your skateboard. Good for you. At least you're not on a couch playing some game," he said. "But respect the bylaw. Don't ride on the sidewalk."
Sage, who told QMI Agency he put in 400 hours of community service time in high school to help rebuild Simcoe's skatepark, has 60 days to pay the fine.