The arrival of the fall season means that haunted houses are beginning to open and Halloween-themed events are getting underway—many of them slated to run until late October. Of course, Halloween celebrations often include images of frightful fantasies, including ghosts, vampires, zombies, and more. It is not uncommon for more adult-oriented haunted houses to hire actors to portray sadistic murderers in an attempt to arouse the fear of willing customers. For one family, however, the violence was all too real, as they were severely beaten following an altercation with a group of teens at a Halloween event at Six Flags Great America.
A Violent Evening
According to various news outlets, the incident began while the family—a couple in their 50s and their 12-year-old son—was waiting in line for a ride during “Fright Fest” at Six Flags Great American in Gurnee. A large group of teens cut in front of the family, and the woman asked the group to stop using foul language in front of her son. The teens reportedly responded by “sucker-punching” the 12-year-old boy, then attacking the parents as they tried to intervene. The group continued to kick, punch, and stomp all three victims as they went to the ground, a representative from the Gurnee police said.
Several bystanders called 911 to report the incident while Six Flags security officers tried to get the situation under control. All three members of the family were taken to a local hospital with “significant” but non-life-threatening injuries.
Adult and Juvenile Arrests
When the police arrived on the scene, they detained and eventually arrested nine individuals, including one 18-year-old and eight minors. The 18-year-old was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery in a public place, and mob action. The eight juveniles were named in juvenile actions for mob action, three are facing aggravated battery charges, and one was charged with obstruction of justice for giving a false name.
Officials from Six Flags and the Gurnee Police Department believe that there are witnesses who have yet to come forward. They are asking anyone with information or possibly cell phone videos to contact the Gurnee police.
Get Help for Your Child
At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we realize that young people often caught up in the moment and may make poor decisions from time to time. We also understand the importance of putting juvenile defendants on the right track toward becoming productive citizens. If your child has been charged with any type of juvenile crime, including crimes involving violence or obstruction of justice, contact an experienced Joliet juvenile defense attorney. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.