A teen employee was punched in the face during a confrontation about a theme park’s face mask policy, Pennsylvania cops say.
The 17-year-old was sent to a hospital with an injury to his jaw, which will require surgery, Detective Lt. Steve Forman with the Middletown Township Police Department told McClatchy News.
The teen was working at Sesame Place, an amusement park outside Philadelphia, when he reminded visitors to wear masks on Sunday, Forman said.
“The male & female responded to the request in an aggressive manner, closing the distance on the 17-year-old male employee causing him to back up,” police said in a news release.
During the confrontation, the two punched the teenager in the face, according to officers.
Police say they reviewed record and footage of the suspects, who are believed to have ties to New York.
In an emailed statement to McClatchy News, Sesame Place said it is working with law enforcement after an employee was “seriously injured.”
“We’ve been in close communication with the family of our injured team member, and are hopeful for a full and speedy recovery,” the statement said. “The health and safety of our guests and team members is our top priority, and violence of any kind is unacceptable and not tolerated at our park.”
Sesame Place mandates face coverings for all park visitors older than 2, according to its website.
“Guests are not required to wear them while eating and drinking, or in designated relaxation areas of the park,” the policy says. “Face coverings are not allowed in the water (e.g., the water slides and all other water attractions in the park).”
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, health officials urge people to wear face masks. The virus is thought to be commonly transmitted through droplets, which can be released from the body when a person with an infection talks, coughs or sneezes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.