Assaults, robberies turn Great America into real-life scare


SANTA CLARA – Robbers reportedly armed with Tasers assaulted and robbed patrons at California’s Great America, turning the amusement park’s 10th once-a-year Halloween fest right into a real-life fright for thousands of visitors and employees, park security and visitors mentioned.

Santa Clara police believed that about one hundred youth were perpetrating the mayhem, which broke out about 10:thirty p.m. Saturday for the Great America Haunt. About 20,000 visitors were being during the park, police claimed.

Police arrested 1 juvenile on suspicion of theft, Santa Clara Police Lieutenant Dan Moreno mentioned. Visitors reported observing other perpetrators escape into waiting around cars.

Park patrons reported encountering teams of robbers, some armed with Tasers, who ran through crowds stealing mobile telephones, purses, and backpacks and sending visitors fleeing for exits. Some panicked visitors tried using to scale park fences. About thirty patrons ended up wounded, by one security guard’s estimate.

“It was awful,” claimed a San Francisco mother who had introduced her 17-year-old daughter in addition to a buddy on the haunt. “A child inside of a hoodie ran up and pried the cellphone away from my arms.”

The mother, who would not need to be publicly discovered due to the fact she was victimized, said she then frantically searched for her daughter amid terrified crowds as folks ended up being assaulted. Her daughter and close friend weren’t bodily harmed.

“One girl got punched in the experience,” she reported. “Security did almost nothing to test for getting these men out.”

About 20,000 guests have been crowded in to the park to wander through mazes, stop by “spine-tingling scare zones” and board the Demon roller-coaster.

About 4 from the city’s officers had been doing work privately, on contracted security shifts using the park. In the event the mayhem broke out, as much as about a dozen more Santa Clara officers ended up named in to assist, Moreno reported.

Park spokesman Roger Ross characterized the melee as incidents which were quickly resolved. “The basic safety of our guests is our top rated precedence,” he wrote in an email.

A supervising guard with a firm managing security for your park said what began as groups snatching goods escalated “to them heading all around beating up men and women randomly, even security guards and actors inside the mazes.” The guard, who didn’t want his title employed because he wasn’t authorized to speak, mentioned that officers from other neighboring jurisdictions also have been called in to revive purchase.

Even so, police and park security have been outnumbered, visitors reported.

Ross mentioned the park remained open until its standard one a.m. closing time.

But several attendees reported that the lights dimmed about midnight and other people were shepherded out.

That account was confirmed from the security supervisor. He himself reported being taunted and jumped by five assailants. Once the guard flipped one towards the ground, he explained, the other individuals fled.

The San Francisco mom woke up Sunday morning with pain in her arm and wrist.

“I feel so violated. I sense so entirely violated,” she reported. “I was just looking to fall off my daughter, and stick all around simply because I dwell much away. This was horrible.”

Great America planned to work its Haunt as scheduled Sunday. Its online ad reads, “Fear is looking ahead to you.”