Miami skateboarder crashed; wasn't mugged

July 21, 2012 at 11:58 AM

MIAMI, July 21 (UPI) -- The parents of a Miami skateboarder said they were relieved to know their injured son had not been mugged but had actually crashed into a concrete column.

Police and the Miami community had been horrified at the initial report that Rene Betancourt had been jumped in a parking garage and beaten to a pulp by four assailants; however, surveillance video from the scene has revealed his injuries actually came from a head-on collision with a column.

"The way that my son looked, it seemed like an assault," Rene's mother, Rosie Betancourt, told The Miami Herald. "The family jumped for joy when detective told them it was an accident."

The July 6 crash itself wasn't particularly joyous occasion. The Herald said the video showed the 22-year-old rider lying apparently unconscious for 5 minutes before he hobbled to his car, where is parents found him slumped in the seat of his car.

Betancourt told police he had been been attacked, which set off a high-profile manhunt for the reputed assailants and raised outrage among fellow skaters.

Although the story abruptly changed, police told the Herald they were unlikely to charge Betancourt with any crimes due to the severity of his head injuries which landed him in a hospital for 10 days.

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