Nine teens arrested after family attacked at Great America
Nine teens were arrested Saturday after an attack at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee left three members of a family hospitalized, authorities said.
Gregory Battle, 18, of Waukegan is charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, mob action and aggravated battery in a public place for his alleged role in the attack at 8:50 p.m. Saturday, Gurnee Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith said.
Eight more teens ranging in age from 15 to 17 face mob action charges in juvenile court, Smith added. One juvenile also faces an obstruction of justice charge for giving police a false name, Smith said. Seven of the juveniles are from Waukegan, and the eighth lives in Beach Park.
According to police, a 51-year-old man, 50-year-old woman and their 12-year-old son were standing in line when the group of teens cut in front of them. The teens were swearing loudly and creating a commotion, Smith said.
After words were exchanged between the groups one of the juveniles "sucker punched" the 12-year-old boy, Smith said. His father stepped in, prompting the rest of the group to attack, Smith said.
The family members were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of nonlife threatening injuries, authorities said.
Police and park security were called by witnesses, but the teens left the theme park before they arrived, Smith said. They were located later walking outside the park.
A Great American spokeswoman said in a written statement that park operators have "zero tolerance" for unlawful behavior.
"This was an isolated incident and Gurnee police along with our own security personnel responded promptly," Great America Communications Manager Tess Claussen said.
Smith said police are seeking witnesses, especially anyone with video of the confrontation, to assist them in the case. They are urged to call (847) 599-7000.
Battle, who is out of custody after posting $20,000 bail, is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 25.