Leroy N. Soetoro
2017-09-30 18:27:08 UTC
The Waukegan man charged in a weekend attack against a family of three at
Six Flags Great America in Gurnee was released from jail earlier this week
after posting bond, authorities said.
Gregory Battle, 18, appeared in Lake County court Wednesday, asked for a
public defender and was granted one, according to Cynthia Vargas of the
Lake County State's Attorney's Office. His next court date is set for a
preliminary hearing on Oct. 25.
Battle, who was being held on $20,000 bail until his release Monday, is
charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, mob action and
aggravated battery in a public place, according to police. Battle declined
comment when the News-Sun contacted him through social media on Wednesday.
Police said the physical attack on a family of three including a 51-
year-old man, a 50-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy happened before
9 p.m. Saturday during the amusement park's Fright Fest. The attack
occurred in the park's Southwest Territory area, which is home to rides
such as Raging Bull, Viper and Giant Drop, police said.
Gurnee Deputy Chief Brian Smith on Wednesday said the attack was spurred
by a dispute over a line-cut and that the 12-year-old boy was "sucker
punched." Smith said previously that the teens had cut in line and were
using foul language when the family exchanged words with them.
Smith did not elaborate Wednesday on why the dispute may have escalated
into the attack that sent the three victims to a local hospital with non-
The attack started with the boy being punched before his father and mother
jumped in, after which the group of suspects formed a circle around the
family and proceeded to punch and kick them, authorities said.
Smith said that as the suspects headed out of the park, security trailed
the group and police made the "tactical decision" to allow the group to
leave while several police were stationed outside on Six Flags Avenue, the
entrance of the park just south of Grand Avenue. Once out of the park, the
suspects were surrounded and placed under arrest without incident.
Smith said confronting the group inside the park could have led to more
Eight other juvenile suspects in the attack, ranging in age from 15 to 17,
were named in juvenile petitions for mob action and taken to the Depke
Juvenile Complex Center in Vernon Hills. Seven of the suspects are from
Waukegan and one is from Beach Park. Another juvenile was charged with
obstruction of justice for giving a false name.
Their status was unavailable Wednesday.
Tess Claussen, communications manager at Great America, said in a
statement Tuesday: "This was an isolated incident and Gurnee police along
with our own security personnel responded promptly."
Smith said Wednesday that while he didn't have exact figures, there has
not been a rise in crime at the popular amusement park.
"It doesn't appear there is any increase at all," he said.
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