Skate park to reopen after delivery snafu

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SARASOTA - The mystery of the missing skate park package has been solved, case closed. But the consequences of the missing package meant to be delivered to Payne Park in Sarasota continue to be an issue.

The manager of the skate park and shop there thought that a package delivered by UPS had been stolen, and to prove a point he closed the park on Sunday, saying he wouldn't re-open it until the thieves returned the goods.

But there are a few problems with handling the situation that way.

The skate park has been sitting empty since Sunday, when the manager of the park posted a message on Facebook stating the park will remain closed until the scumbag responsible for stealing the holiday package returns it.

“I was a bit bummed. I kind of liked how he did it and showed how he wasn't messing around and how it's wrong to steal,” says skater Justin Cupo.

But it turns out that the stolen package wasn't actually stolen, and authorities had the goods all along. UPS made a mistake and delivered the package to the Sarasota Police headquarters across the street. But that mistake wasn't realized until recently -- after the park was already closed.

And to make matters worse -- even if the package had been stolen -- the park is city property and the manager signed an agreement with the City of Sarasota stating he will keep it open a minimum of five days a week, for at least 36 hours.

Some parents support the manager's decision, regardless of the snafu. “I was upset about the remarks on Facebook that parents had about not standing behind the decision of Coach Dan to close the park down, because this should be a teaching moment for us to teach our kids what not to do, if the package happened to be stolen,” says parent Anita Cupo.

Others aren't very happy about public property being closed to the public to prove a point that they say never needed to be made. “It's for everyone here, and it's for the public to come, too. And just closing this part of the park down and putting a sign up on the door saying you're going to contact police if people come up here, and blah, blah, blah, that scares people off,” says Neeley Kreser.

According to the City of Sarasota, the skate park will reopen by 3pm on Wednesday, December 12th, weather permitting.