Skateboarder acquitted in cop-punch case 

A 23-year-old skateboarder was acquitted of battery charges Tuesday stemming from an altercation with two off-duty cops last summer.

On June 26, Matthew Hoyt, of San Francisco, was riding his skateboard in the Civic Center area when a car driving behind him “began furiously honking,” he testified in court, according to the Public Defender’s Office.

The men honking at Hoyt were off-duty police officers. They drove up next to Hoyt and argued with him, Deputy Public Defender Walter McMath said in a statement.

The cop then cut Hoyt off, causing him to fall off his skateboard, McMath said. Hoyt punched the driver and took off on his board.

The off-duty cops chased Hoyt down and arrested him. During the trial, a Santa Rosa man recounted a similar “road rage encounter” with one of the officers involved, helping to sway the jury toward acquittal, the Public Defender’s Office said.

rnagle@sfexaminer.com

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