Sun-Times Media Wire, September 28, 2017
A family outing at Six Flags Great America’s “Fright Fest” took a horrific turn Saturday night when a group of teenagers brutally beat a 12-year-old boy and his parents as they waited in line at the amusement park in north suburban Gurnee, authorities said.
The annual Halloween-themed attraction typically draws “an increased number of knuckleheads who come to stir things up” at the park, but nothing like Saturday’s attack that left a family of three hospitalized, Gurnee Deputy Police Chief of Operations Brian Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“This is rare. This is on a different spectrum,” Smith said. “This family is lucky they got out with just the injuries that they did.”
Nine people have been arrested and charged with the attack.
The melee started about 8:45 p.m., when a group of young people cut in front of a 50-year-old woman in line with her 51-year-old husband and 12-year-old son.
The woman asked the group to stop using foul language in front of her son, and one of the teens “sucker-punched” the boy, Smith said.
The boy’s father stepped in, as did his mother, but the group overpowered them, continuing to kick, punch and stomp them as they went down to the ground, Smith said.
The family was taken to a hospital with “significant” injuries.
Gregory Battle, 18, was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery in a public place and mob action. The Waukegan resident was released after posting 10 percent of a $20,000 bond, according to Lake County Jail records.
Eight north suburban juveniles ranging in age from 15 to 17 were charged with mob action.
[Editor’s Note: The video below contains police audio indicating the white victims sustained “extensive injuries.”]