Gurnee police are asking for witnesses to speak after an attack by a group of teens at Six Flags Great America left a family of three hospitalized.
According to a news report by the Lake County News Sun, three family members, including a 51-year-old man, a 50-year-old woman, and a 12-year-old boy, were transported to the hospital by ambulance Saturday at about 9:00 p.m. after they were attacked.
Police said that an altercation began after a large group cut in front of the family and were using foul language. Initial 911 calls reported a fight in progress involving about 10 people. Another 911 caller said that about 10 people were surrounding and fighting one person.
Police arrived and detained nine suspects who fit the description provided by park security. Authorities said that it was learned that the 12-year-old boy was assaulted and that’s when his father went to his son’s aid and started to pull the suspect off the boy. The father was then knocked to the ground and the group surrounded him and hit him with “punches and kicks”, according to the Lake County News Sun.
The mother of the boy at that point tried to help her husband and son, and she was also attacked by the group. No one came to the aid of the family however “numerous people told Six Flags employees and called 911”.
The mother, father, and boy were all transported by ambulance to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
All nine of the people who were detained by police were arrested and charged. Of the nine suspects, eight of them were juveniles and one of them was an adult.
Gregory Battle, 18, of Waukegan, was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery in a public place, and mob action. He was ordered held on a $20,000 bond. The eight juveniles, who were between 15 and 17 years of age, were charged with mob action, a class 4 felony, and taken to Depke Juvenile Complex Center in Vernon Hills.
In a statement from Great America communications manager Tess Claussen, she said, “The safety of our guests is always our highest priority and we have zero tolerance for any unlawful behavior.”
“This was an isolated incident and Gurnee police along with our own security personnel responded promptly,” Claussen added. Fright Fest, which is the park’s annual Halloween celebration, is currently going on at Six Flags.
Gurnee Police Officer Daniel Ruth, who’s the lead investigator, said, “We believe there were more witnesses that did not come forward, and any video would be useful to the investigation.”
“We urge anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward and make a statement.”