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Six Flags Family Attacked, Beaten by Gang of Juveniles

Image: Six Flags Family Attacked, Beaten by Gang of Juveniles
Gregory Battle, 18, was only adult among nine arrested so far in attack on family at the Six Flags Great America theme park in Gurnee, Illinois.  (Gurnee Police)

By    |   Thursday, 28 September 2017 08:10 AM

A Six Flags family waiting for a ride at the park near Chicago was attacked and severely beaten by a marauding gang of mostly juveniles who cut in line spewing profanities. Nine arrests have been made so far.

The family – a father, 51, his wife, 50, and their 12-year-old son – were hospitalized with "significant" injuries, Gurnee Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The attack at the Six Flags Great America theme park in Gurnee, Illinois happened during "Fright Fest" promotion at about 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, authorities said.

"This is rare," Smith told the Sun-Times. "This is on a different spectrum. This family is lucky they got out with just the injuries that they did."

The family was reportedly jumped by the group of teenagers after they cut the family in line for a ride in the park's Southwest Territory. When the mother asked the teens to stop using foul language, one of the teens reportedly hit the 12-year-old unexpectedly, police told the Sun-Times.

When the mother and father attempted to protect the boy, the group overpowered them with kicks and punches, stomping them as they went to the ground, Smith said

Gregory Battle, 18, of Waukegan, Illinois, was arrested on charges on aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, mob action, and aggravated battery in a public place, authorities told the Chicago Tribune.

Eight juveniles, ranging in age from 15 to 17, were named in juvenile petitions for mob action, a Class 4 felony, and taken to the Depke Juvenile Complex Center in Vernon Hills, the Tribune said. The newspaper said seven were from Waukegan and the other from Beach Park.

"We urge anyone with video information to come forward," Gurnee police Officer Daniel Ruth, the incident's lead investigator, told the Tribune. "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."

The park's response seemed casual.

Tess Claussen, communications manager at Great America, told the Tribune in a statement that the incident was isolated and the park's security personnel and police responded promptly.

"The safety of our guests and team members is our top priority and we have zero tolerance for reckless behavior," Claussen said, per the Tribune. "The perpetrators were taken into custody by local authorities."

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A Six Flags family waiting for a ride at the park near Chicago was attacked and severely beaten by a marauding gang of mostly juveniles who cut in line spewing profanities. Nine arrests have been made so far.
six flags, family, attacked, juveniles
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2017-10-28
Thursday, 28 September 2017 08:10 AM
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