A group of teenagers brutally attacked a family of three Saturday while on line at Six Flags Great America in Illinois, police say.
The park, which is celebrating its yearly “Fright Fest,” has Halloween-themed attractions meant to scare attendees.
Gurnee Deputy Police Chief of Operations Brian Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times the theme park gets “an increased number of knuckleheads who come to stir things up” during “Fright Fest.” However, Smith said violent incidents were “rare” and the Saturday attack was “on a different spectrum.”
“This family is lucky they got out with just the injuries that they did,” Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times.
On Saturday, a 12-year-old boy and his parents were waiting on line when a group of teenagers cut in front of them. The woman, 50, asked the pack of teenagers to stop saying expletives in front of her son. The teenagers responded by “sucker-punching” the young boy before the father, 51, jumped in. The group then attacked the parents by stomping, kicking and punching them.
The family was hospitalized with “significant injuries,” Smith said.
On Wednesday, it was reported the three had been released.
Nine people were arrested and charged in connection with the incident but Smith believed more people might have gotten away.
Gregory Battle, 18, was charged with “aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery in a public place and mob action,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Battel was released after posting a portion of the $20,000 bond.
The other eight who were arrested were between the ages of 15 and 17 and were charged with mob action and placed in a juvenile center in Vernon Hills.
“This was an isolated incident and Gurnee police, along with our own security personnel, responded promptly,” Tess Claussen, the communications manager for Six Flags Great America, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Smith said the theme park’s security cameras could not get footage of the attack but he said there is video of the incident somewhere.
“We know there’s video out there. People had their phones out, but we have not gotten any additional video yet,” Smith said.