A 26-year-old skateboarder who is on course to represent the United States in the 2021 Summer Olympic Games has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly co-hosting a party in Los Angeles that was deemed a potential COVID-19 “super-spreader” event, jeopardizing public health.
The Los Angeles Times reports, “Nyjah Huston, a four-time world skateboarding champion, and Edward Essa, the owner of a home in the Fairfax District where authorities say parties have been repeatedly shut down by police since last fall, are among those charged.” According to the Times, “Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the L.A. Department of Water and Power to cut off electric service to the home in the 800 block of North Curson Avenue” after the latest party in January. Both men are accused of creating a nuisance. The outlet was unable to reach Huston or Essa for comment on Friday.
The Times provides more details:
Last month, LAPD Capt. Sharon Paulson said officers cleared about 40 people from the Curson Avenue address after receiving a complaint of a gathering at a “social media influencer residence.” Officers had previously shut down events at the home on Sept. 12-13 and Oct. 17 and issued warnings to the residents that large gatherings violated the mayor’s public order, officials said.
Huston, who owns a house in Laguna Beach, Calif., is the top-ranked and highest-paid skateboarder in the world. He has been training for the upcoming Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan, where skateboarding will make its Olympic debut as a medal event. The Washington Post has described Huston as “a leading candidate for Team USA.” He said he has missed competing with others as he prepares for the Olympics.
Full Rotation pic.twitter.com/hy6s9LvilB
— Nyjah Huston (@nyjah) September 10, 2020
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, a Democrat who plans to run for mayor next year, told the Times his office “has held those individuals and businesses who have had large indoor gatherings, violating important public health and safety orders, accountable.”
As the L.A. Times reported, Feuer’s office also charged three others with similar offenses in unrelated cases, and:
Huston has gotten into trouble for house parties before. In September 2019, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace at a 2017 Los Angeles party. The multiple X Games gold medalist, who has 4.5 million Instagram followers, was originally charged with felony assault. In 2014, he was cited for noise violations after Orange County deputies responding to multiple complaints found 200 to 300 people at his south Orange County home.
— Nyjah Huston (@nyjah) September 27, 2019
Huston has described his skateboarding vocation as “one of the funnest and most exciting jobs to have.”
“You don’t have to think of it as going out and working all of the time or training all of the time,” he said. “Your training is going out and having fun on your board and skating with your friends, and just challenging yourself, skating new spots, learning new tricks. It’s just always like a constant challenge, and it never gets old.”