Two Bronx residents face criminal charges for allegedly attacking a 17-year-old amusement park worker after he reminded the two customers to wear a mask at the Pennsylvania theme park Sesame Place earlier this month.
The unidentified teen was hospitalized for a week after he was assaulted about 5 p.m. August 9th at Sesame Place Park, the Middletown Township Police department said in a press release.
Troy McCoy, 39, and Shakerra Bonds, 31, were charged with assault for the incident, which resulted in the teen undergoing double jaw surgery and getting a tooth removed, according to police and a GoFundMe page organized by a family friend.
Before the attack, Middletown Township detectives found the teenager had told McCoy and Bonds about a mandatory mask requirement in Pennsylvania, which requires people to wear a mask whenever they leave their home.
Police say the teen was promptly beaten in response.
When another Sesame Place employee tried to help the 17-year-old, Bonds allegedly punched that employee, the Middletown Township police said.
"This traumatic injustice dulled the spirits of a teenager who is so full of love, kindness, and overall radiates sunshine around family and friends," fundraiser organizer Quaneesha Shields wrote in the GoFundMe for the 17-year-old. "This is an extremely difficult, overwhelming, and unexplainable time as family and friends are praying for justice and healing."
The teen was released from the hospital Friday, according to the GoFundMe page.
In a statement to WPVI, Sesame Place said: "We're relieved that the individuals responsible for injuring our team member have been identified and arrested. We want to thank the law enforcement agencies involved for their quick actions and support. We have issued a lifetime ban to the individuals involved for all of our parks across the country. The safety of our team members and guests remains our top priority."
Workers implementing mask mandates have faced hostility as face coverings have become a political flashpoint in the U.S., despite scientific evidence showing masks help slow the spread of COVID-19. In Manhattan, Trader Joe's employees were attacked after asking customers to wear masks last month.
In the Sesame Place attack, detectives reviewed surveillance footage and transaction records to identify the suspects.
New York City police and U.S. Marshals Service arrested McCoy in his Bronx apartment in Throggs Neck around 6 a.m. Wednesday. The Middletown Township police say he tried to barricade himself inside the apartment, before U.S. Marshals forced their way in and took him into custody. Lt. Steve Forman told the news site LevittownNow that police tased McCoy during the arrest.
Bonds was expected to turn herself in.
McCoy and Bonds face charges for assault, criminal conspiracy, disorderly conduct, and harassment. McCoy faces an additional aggravated assault charge as well as reckless endangerment.
The Bucks County District Attorney's office is prosecuting the case.
On Wednesday, McCoy was in New York pending extradition to Pennsylvania, upon which he would be arraigned and bail set, according to the Bucks County District Attorney's office.
The teenager has not been identified. On the GoFundMe page, Shields wrote Wednesday the family wants to remain anonymous "to protect the identity of this teenager and the ongoing investigation."