Citrus Heights Sentinel Logo

Police identify, contact U-Haul driver who crashed into Citrus Heights skate shop

Plywood sheets can be seen covering the front windows of Surf & Skate at 7598 Greenback Ln., in this photo from Aug. 23, 2022. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
In an update this week, police confirmed additional information in an apparent hit-and-run incident involving a skate shop near San Juan High School last month.

See prior story: Citrus Heights skate shop reportedly hit by U-Haul van in attempted break-in

Police Lt. Chad Morris confirmed in an email Monday that a man driving a U-Haul van crashed into the windows of Surf & Skate on Aug. 6, causing damage to several windows and the door of the business.

Business owner Bob Mitchell told The Sentinel in a previous interview his security cameras captured a male with a long black pony tail driving a U-Haul van into the building. Mitchell said the incident was an attempted robbery but the store’s security gate prevented him from gaining access to the store.

An officer later contacted the driver near Kohl’s who then admitted to causing the damage. The man was not taken into custody, but Morris indicated in an email Monday that the incident is not believed to be intentional.

“It appears to be accidental, as the vehicle was parked in the parking lot and then the driver accidentally put the vehicle in gear and impacted the building. It appears the driver notified someone at 7-11,” Morris said.

While the man left the scene before officers arrived, Morris said the driver has since “taken full responsibility for the incident.”

Mitchell remains convinced the incident was deliberate. He says video from his security cameras show the van making a wide turn and accelerating toward the building before the driver gets out.

“He just came down the parking lot, then started his arc toward the front of the store,” Mitchell said. “He was in the middle of the area, then you see him accelerate. He did that on purpose.”

As reported earlier this month, Mitchell has drawn the ire of Antifa Sacramento for his involvement with Proud Boys, but said he does not believe the incident was politically motivated. Antifa Sacramento lists Mitchell on their website encouraging members to leave negative reviews on the shop’s social media pages.

Surf & Skate is located at 7598 Greenback Ln., near Mariposa Avenue.

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)