Note: This story was updated Nov. 10 to correct Brian Smith's title.
A private security guard working at Coolidge Park faces charges of assault after allegedly taking a child's hoverboard and using it to hit the child's mother.
Brett Baldridge, 30, was arrested and charged with assault, aggravated assault and theft, according to court records. The alleged incident took place Tuesday.
Baldridge was working as a guard for Security Engineers Inc., which has a contract with Chattanooga and Hamilton County to provide security at multiple parks and other city-run locations, according to city parks spokesperson Brian Smith.
Since his arrest, Baldridge has been terminated from the firm, Smith said by phone. A representative for Security Engineers did not return a request for comment.
According to a police report, a security guard originally called police Tuesday evening to report people were skateboarding in Coolidge Park, refusing to leave and being disorderly.
While officers were on their way, the report states, a park ranger called and said a woman had reported a guard assaulted her and took her 10-year-old's hoverboard.
The woman and other security guards identified Baldridge as the guard from the complaint, the report said.
She told police she and her child were at the park celebrating her child's birthday, and the child had gotten the hoverboard as a gift.
Baldridge first told them to ride the board in the street, not in the park, according to the report.
Motorized vehicles, including hoverboards and electric scooters, aren't allowed in Coolidge Park because they can get away from people and potentially cause injuries and problems, Smith said.
The woman told police they went into the street after being told to do so, but then saw other people in the park using a hoverboard and not being asked to move. She then took them back into the park, she told police.
Baldridge reportedly approached her again and said he'd already warned her, getting into an argument with the woman.
According to the report, Baldridge then said he was going to confiscate the board and allegedly reached down to pull it out from under the 10-year-old, causing her to fall on her back and head.
"(The woman) stated that this greatly upset her, so she bent down to pick up the board and take it from the security guard and stated she brushed up against him while doing so," the officer wrote in the report.
The guard then reportedly pulled away and struck the woman on the back of the head with the hoverboard and punched her multiple times in the face before bystanders separated them, according to the report. A park employee who witnessed the incident also told police she'd seen the guard striking the woman repeatedly with the board and his fists, the report states.
Both the woman and her child had visible injuries, according to police. The woman had scratches and abrasions on her arms, and her child said her head and ankle hurt and was walking with a limp, the report said.
The guard denied hitting the woman and said the child stepped off the hoverboard before he took it away, according to the report. Baldridge said he was assaulted first and defended himself against the woman.
Private security guards are meant to help park staff, Smith said, and be an extra set of eyes, especially in parks that stay open late. They do not have the authority to confiscate people's property, even if they are violating park rules, according to police in the report.
Police determined Baldridge was the aggressor and was acting outside the scope of his authority, the report said.