A family was sent to the hospital on Saturday after a group of teens brutally attacked them because they (the family) complained about the teens cutting in line at a Halloween event at Six Flags in suburban Chicago.
As WBBM (Chicago) reports, Six Flags Great America, in the Chicago suburb of Gurnee, was the scene of an annual “Fright Fest” event on Saturday night. “Fright Fest” is a special-ticket event that allows guests to experience haunted house-style attractions and to be terrified by actors in terrifying costumes. Unfortunately, says Gurnee Police Chief of Operations Brian Smith, the event also attracts an increased number of “knuckleheads” who like to use the event as an excuse to cause trouble.
An unidentified family, consisting of a 50-year-old woman, her 51-year-old husband, and their 12-year-old son, found this out the hard way as they were waiting in line for an attraction. A group of youths allegedly cut in line, then began using foul language in front of the family. When the mother asked the youths to stop, one of them “sucker-punched” the young boy. The boy’s father and mother stepped in, and within seconds, the altercation turned into a brawl, with at least nine youths allegedly pummeling the family. As the family lay on the ground the youths allegedly continued to punch and stomp on them.
Several witnesses called 911, according to the Chicago Tribune. By the time Gurnee police arrived, park security had detained at least nine people, all but one of them juveniles. One adult, identified as 18-year-old Gregory Battle, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery in a public place, and mob action. He was taken to an area jail and later posted bond.
Family beaten by teens at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee.https://t.co/IpFYXHfKMU
— Sara Scheely Johnson (@sarajohnsauce) September 27, 2017
Eight juveniles, ages 15-17, were also arrested. However, because they are juveniles, they can’t be named. They have all been charged with mob action. Additionally, three were charged with aggravated battery, and one was charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly giving a fake name.
Tess Claussen, communications manager at Great America, said in a statement that the theme park takes the safety of its guests seriously.
“The safety of our guests and team members is our top priority and we have zero tolerance for reckless behavior. The perpetrators were taken into custody by local authorities.”
Smith, however, pointed out that Fright Fest unfortunately tends to bring out the worst in some guests, and that Gurnee police often send officers to help Six Flags security during the event.
“There is a standard increase during each and every day during Fright Fest every year.”
As for the family, they were all taken to an area hospital with injuries described as “non-life-threatening.” Meanwhile, as of this writing they have not given any statements to the media, and are instead asking for privacy as they recover from this alleged assault.
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