Friday night local skateboarders did longboarding tricks in honor of one of their own who couldn’t make it: Rene Betancourt, who is recovering from a savage beating.
Members of the Miami Long Board Crew gathered in South Beach Friday night to raise money for Betancourt, 22. He sustained severe injuries when he was attacked Saturday night in the area of Northeast 3rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard, as he was going to meet up with the Miami Long Board Crew for the first time.
“When he got beat up like that and nobody was there to help him, we we're like wow, that struck home instantly,” longboarder Shane Wasserman said of Betancourt, who was found by his father in a parking lot near Jackson Memorial Hospital hours after the attack took place.
No arrests have been made in the beating, which left Betancourt with a fractured skull, fractured left orbital bone and blood clots in his head.
“I couldn't understand why people would do that,” skateboarder Patrick McDonough said. “What was it for, like 20 bucks and a pair of shoes that they grabbed off him?”
Betancourt has made progress in the days since, and took his first steps in the hospital Thursday night.
On Friday night longboarders met at Chalk Lounge in South Beach and started skating around town in a scavenger hunt. But instead of the winner taking the prize money, they're donating it to Betancourt, who has no medical insurance.
They’ve never met him, but look forward to doing that when he gets out of the hospital.
“That can't happen again, we need to show support to other longboarders, not to go out and skate by themselves, it's just not a safe place out here,” Wasserman said.