Teen’s jaw smashed after asking guest to wear mask at Sesame Place

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

Credit: Social media photo via Twitter

Pair from Bronx, N.Y., face multiple charges in assault at popular children's theme park

A 17-year-old employee at the Sesame Place children’s theme park near Philadelphia needed a tooth removed and double jaw surgery last week after he was punched in the face for asking two guests to wear face masks, according to reports.

Authorities arrested 39-year-old Troy McCoy on Wednesday at his apartment in the Bronx, according to The Washington Post. His 31-year-old roommate Shakerra Bonds was expected to turn herself in.

» EARLY AUGUST: Man accused of firing AK-47 at police after refusing to wear mask

Both face multiple charges, including aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, simple assault and criminal conspiracy, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The victim was not named.

The assault happened August 9. McCoy is accused of attacking the boy, while Bond allegedly hit another employee who tried to jump in to help.

The teen was working the entrance to the Captain Cookie’s High C’s Adventure ride when he reminded the pair about the park’s coronavirus policy, which requires masks be worn at all times except while dining, the Inquirer reports.

That’s when McCoy punched the boy in the face, according to police.

The force of the blow knocked the teen to the ground, and he had to be taken to the hospital, where he had surgery.

McCoy and Bond fled the scene but police were able to quickly identify their names in visitor logs and their car through surveillance, which led authorities to their Bronx apartment on Wednesday morning.

McCoy had a history of violent run-ins with law enforcement so the U.S. Marshals were brought in to assist the New York Police Department with the arrest, The Post reports.

McCoy refused to surrender so agents broke down the door and subdued him with a taser, according to Middletown Township Police Lt. Steve Forman.

Sesame Place issued a statement saying McCoy and Bonds were banned from ever returning to the park.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe to help the teen’s family with medical bills. More than $22,000 had been raised by Thursday morning.

“This traumatic injustice dulled the spirits of a teenager who is so full of love, kindness, and overall radiates sunshine around family and friends,” wrote Quaneesha Shields, the fundraiser’s organizer.

The teen spent about five days in the hospital before being released on Friday, but he still has a long road to recovery, a family friend wrote, according to The Post.

“Physically, this survivor is taking it day by day even in the midst of experiencing excruciating pain and the inability to perform simple tasks, such as eating solid foods and talking,” Shields wrote. “Mentally and emotionally, it is a challenge to make sense of why this attack had to become a part of the narrative and through that unknown reason, depression becomes a reality.”

Other attacks over masks

Retail, restaurant and theme park employees have been given the unenviable task of enforcing mask policies in the pandemic era.

The growing requirements to wear a mask has become highly politicized with the presidential election only weeks away.

In early May, three people were charged in the shooting death of a Family Dollar security guard in Michigan who asked customers to wear masks as they entered the store.

Just days later, three employees of an Oklahoma City McDonald’s restaurant were shot after telling a 32-year-old female customer that the dining room was closed as a pandemic precaution and that she wouldn’t be able to eat there.

In late July, a Pennsylvania man opened fire on a store clerk who asked him to wear a face mask and then allegedly opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle when authorities showed up to arrest him the next day.

Before that, two men got into a brawl with Trader Joe’s employees for not wearing face masks inside the store.