Prosecutors to refile charges against teen in Great America attack
Criminal charges will be refiled against a Waukegan man accused of starting a fight that injured a family at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee.
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said he intends to refile all charges against Gregory Battle, 19, in the beating of the three family members at Fright Fest on Sept. 23, 2017.
Prosecutors said Monday they were forced to drop charges of aggravated battery, aggravated battery in a public place, aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm, and battery because the Batavia victims were unable to testify at trial this week. Officials said they were unable to attend the trial because of injuries they received during the scuffle.
Under law, the state has a certain amount of time to take a case to trial. The time is shorter when a defendant is in custody, and delays are generally agreed upon by defense attorneys and prosecutors.
Because the charges were dropped by a prosecutors instead of being dismissed by a judge, prosecutors have a right to refile criminal charges at a later date.
Battle was arrested and charged with eight others who ranged in age from 15 to 17 for kicking and punching the family at the theme park.
Authorities said a 51-year-old man, 50-year-old woman and their 12-year-old son were standing in line for a ride when the teens cut in front of them and started swearing loudly, authorities said.
After words were exchanged between the groups, one juvenile punched the son, authorities said. The father stepped in to protect his child when the rest of the group attacked the family, authorities said.
The family members were taken to the hospital for treatment of nonlife threatening injuries, authorities said.
Witnesses called police and park security, but the teens had left the park before authorities could arrive. Battle and the other juveniles were taken into custody when they were spotted walking outside the park.
The victims also filed a civil suit against the theme park that is pending.