Long Beach

When Bone Meets Board

“I can’t stay calm, I’m a Lujan.”

After a visit to Long Beach’s Top Hat Barber I was biking home when I spotted a man laying on the boardwalk ahead of me. He let out a piercing groan.

As I approached and dismounted I could see that his leg and ankle were broken…it was kinda obvious. People ran to his aid among them a nurse from Manhattan Veterans hospital who comforted him and advised him to remain still. Along side him was a skateboard.

Nurse IMG_7534.jpg

A Manhattan Veterans Hospital nurse advises fallen man

Someone had called 911 but I knew calling the Long Beach PD directly at 516-431-1800 was the best for a fast response. I did so, giving the location, boardwalk between Lafayette and Washington. A beach Animal Control Officer patrolling nearby arrived on the scene in minutes, called in the details, then calmed the man.

Jake on radio IMG_7538.jpg

Long Beach Animal Control Officer…first on scene.

Nick Lujan, the twenty-one-year-old injured male’s sudden calmness was dramatic. I’ve seen many people in similar situations, having fallen down subway stairs, or hit by a car, or the victim of violent crime with obvious broken bones but few became as calm.


Ambulance Attendent attends.

Emblazoned on his sweatshirt was “I can’t stay calm, I’m a Lujan” I asked him what Lujan was. He said it was his family name. But it was ironic that the shirt announced, “I can’t stay calm…” when obviously…this Lujan can. I suggested he join the Marines.

At one point the Animal Control Officer even had Nick laugh…just a bit. Sometimes having a victim take his mind off the pain helps the situation.

Laughs IMG_7553.jpg

Nick and the Officer laugh.

Several more minutes and an ambulance and an additional Long Beach officer arrived. By 11:15, twenty minutes since the fall, Nick Lujan was on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.


Skateboarder to hospital, Animal Control Officer back to…animal control

Nick’s at home now recovering as best he can, he’ll be scheduled for an operation soon. He’ll be out of work for a while now, he’s an electrician apprentice. He said he had given up skateboarding in his teens due to a popped knee from a fall but had taken it up again this summer.

He said the ambulance took him directly to South Nassau hospital in Oceanside where he reports the treatment there was good. He said he does have a high tolerance for pain but he did scream when they had to put his ankle back in place, even after receiving morphine first.

He knows he shouldn’t have been on the boardwalk with a skateboard but was doing so because skateboarding the streets means dealing with drivers who are “jerks”. But after this fall, dislocated ankle, and fractured fibula…he’s going back to bike riding.

Wise move.

Riding skateboards on our Long Beach boardwalk is a violation among many fineable offenses on our famed walk. Riding bikes down the ramps, dog walking, even smoking is prohibited. But people do violate these rules and do suffer the financial consequences, a fifty buck fine in most cases. The rules are there for a reason. Sounds trite but sometimes the reasons are painfully brought to bear…when bone meets board.

Nick's selfie 8x6.jpg

When bone meets board. NIck’s leg selfie in ambulance

Our City by the Sea’s police and ambulance response worked well this day. But I wondered where our Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman was this time. He did a little responding himself one day when a young lady fell off her bike and broke her ankle: https://leebythesea.me/2014/04/10/734/

Be well,
See also my sister blog: https://wherethesundontshine.net

6 replies »

  1. Wow. Funny, Carol. I do indeed know “the rest of the story.” That lad had just been warned when he approached the site of the fallen skateboarder for skateboarding too. The P.O.saw him 20 minutes later skateboarding again, even after the warning. That’s when you overheard the conversation. He had some gall to dis the cop after getting the initial break. Yes, he did tell the cop F***OFF. Long story short…$50:00 rung up for the City By the Sea. But in my opinion he’s the one that needed the hard, butt-to-the-boards lesson.
    Be well,


  2. Wow! Good visuals…lol…That definitely WAS a break! Hope he recovers fully and quickly!

    It’s funny. While walking on the boardwalk this past Saturday, I encountered one of our POs speaking with a young fellow, and what I could hear while I walked by, was something about $50, and “Son, what is your name.” To that, the young fellow told the PO to f—-off. The officer asked him again, and I heard the same response. Now, I am not sure where that situation went, or how it ended, but it did give me pause for reflection.


  3. Tavita, It was my pleasure. Nick’s a hard working young man who has plans for a successful future. You are very fortunate to be part of his life. I hope he recovers well, moves on soon with his career…and sticks with bike riding. Thank you for your kind words.
    Be well too,


  4. Great article! Nick is my best friend so I’m glad he is ok. He mentioned meeting you and that you would publish an article on his accident so naturally I told him to send me the link. I think your writing is entertaining and definitely captures the readers attention. Thanks for being there with my friend! He really is tough and has a high tolerance for pain.


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