Theme Park Employee Attacked After Reminding Couple to Wear Masks

A teenage employee at Sesame Place, a theme park for children, was attacked by a couple he had reminded to wear a mask while inside the venue, police said.

The 17-year-old worker had told an unidentified man and woman that they were required to wear masks while in the park in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, to limit the spread of coronavirus, according to Middletown Township Police Department (MTPD).

Hours later, the worker asked the same couple to comply with the park's mask policy. During that encounter, at around 5 p.m., the couple became belligerent.

"The male and female responded to the request in a belligerent manner, closing the distancing on the 17-year-old employee causing him to back up," police said in a statement.

Both the man and woman struck the employee in the face, knocking him to the ground, police added.

The couple then fled Sesame Place as security guards chased after them, according to the station. They were last seen driving off in a vehicle that was registered in New York.

Sesame Place
File photo: Langhorne, PA July 21, 2018: Sesame Place is a children's theme park, located on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based on the Sesame Street television program. A teenage employee at Sesame Place was punched in the face by a man he had reminded to wear a mask while in the theme park, police said. Getty

The teenager was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in Middletown after sustaining injuries to his jaw and teeth. He underwent surgery for his injuries on Monday.

The MTPD haven't released a description of the couple, but the department said it is working with their counterparts in New York City to track down the man and woman involved and arrest them.

In a statement to Newsweek, Sesame Place said it is hoping for a full and speedy recovery for the injured employee.

"On Sunday, August 9, a guest assaulted and seriously injured one of our team members," it said.

"We've been in close communication with the family of our injured team member, and are hoping for a full and speedy recovery. 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.

"We are cooperating with local law enforcement on this ongoing investigation. Any further questions should be directed to them."

Pennsylvania has a statewide mask mandate, with most people over the age of two years old required to wear a mask or face covering in any public indoor spaces and any outdoor areas where it is not possible to maintain social distancing.

The state has more than 116,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and more than 7,300 deaths, according to the latest figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The U.S. surpassed five million cases of coronavirus on Sunday. As of Tuesday morning, at least 5,094,565 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the country and more than 163,000 people have died, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, shows the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of August 10.

Spread of COVID-19 U.S.

This article has been updated with information from the Middletown Township Police Department.