A group of a dozen or more youths robbed, beat, and even used Tasers to terrorize party-goers at a California theme park’s Halloween event.
As The San José Mercury News reports, California’s Great America theme park in Santa Clara became a real-life horror show this weekend, as unruly teenagers descended on the park’s annual Halloween Haunt. Authorities and victims say the teens robbed victims of purses, backpacks, and cell phones; in some cases stealthily making off with the goods, and in other cases, committing strong-armed robbery. In other cases, the teens allegedly sucker-punched victims, and some victims even reported being tased.
In their panic, some guests were seen attempting to scale park fences in order to get away.
A San Francisco mother says that she lost track of her daughter in the confusion.
“It was terrible. A kid in a hoodie ran up and pried the phone out of my hands.”
Fortunately, she was able to find her daughter and the girl’s friend. Neither was harmed.
Four Santa Clara police officers, working privately with the park’s security department, were on-duty that night. When the melee broke out, another dozen Santa Clara officers were called in to assist. Similarly, park security tried to get a handle on the situation.
— InHo Kim (@inhokim) October 28, 2017
However, according to one guard, who asked not to be identified, security personnel were so outnumbered that the teens even began assaulting security guards and park workers. Even the park security supervisor says he was assaulted by a teen. Once he used a self-defensive maneuver, the teen fled.
However, the San Francisco mom who asked not to be identified claimed that the guards did nothing to stop the melee.
“I feel so violated. I feel so completely violated. I was just trying to drop off my daughter, and stick around because I live far away. This was terrible.”
In a follow-up Mercury News report, Santa Clara Police Lt. Dan Moreno said that police and security were hindered in their response. First, he said, the park had dimmed the lights in order to create an appropriate mood for the Halloween event. Further, the unruly teens were able to escape into waiting cars before anyone was able to identify them.
As of this writing, only one arrest has been made with a minor booked on suspicion of theft.
Theme-park industry spokesman Dennis Speigel says that Cedar Fair, the corporation that manages California’s Great America and other theme parks across the country, is good at responding to violence in their parks.
“Knowing the Cedar Fair management team, they will take steps to make sure something of this type never happens again,”
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