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2 convicted in assault on teen theme park worker

July 11, 2021 GMT

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Two people were convicted of assault on a teenage employee at a children’s theme park near Philadelphia last summer.

Jurors in Bucks County on Friday convicted Troy McCoy, 40, of aggravated and simple assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. Shakerra Bonds, 32, was convicted of simple assault and disorderly conduct. Both were acquitted of conspiracy and Bonds was acquitted of a second simple assault count involving another employee.

Prosecutors said the 17-year-old worker had reminded the Bronx residents on Aug. 9 about the mask requirement in effect due to the coronavirus pandemic, and he was punched in the face before the two fled. Authorities said the teen was taken to St. Mary Medical Center, where he needed surgery for a fractured jaw and injuries to his teeth.

Defense attorney Brooks Thompson, representing McCoy, said his client feared the teen was going to hurt Bonds and acted after he heard one of the children say “don’t hurt mommy.” He also said one punch was involved and the event was “not some type of brutal assault.”

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Attorney Keith McAndrews, representing Bonds, pointed to varying accounts from some witnesses, including the victim, and said his client was acting in self-defense after the teen had scared her children earlier. “He was the aggressor,” McAndrews said. “He chose to attack her.”

Deputy District Attorney AJ Garabedian, however, said the defendants were acting on “perceived disrespect” and used unreasonable force. He noted that they didn’t stop to talk to security afterward.

“They fled because they knew what they did,” he said, the Bucks County Courier Times reported. “Their actions speak louder than words.”

Authorities said the defendants were at the Langhorne park with a group of family and friends celebrating a child’s birthday. Sesame Place said earlier that they have been were banned for life from all of its parks across the country.