When a 17-year-old employee at Sesame Place, a Sesame Street theme park near Philadelphia, spotted two guests without masks last week, the teen asked the man and woman to cover their faces.
Instead, the man punched the teen in the face, sending him crashing to the ground and then to the hospital, police said.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service and New York Police Department arrested the man suspected in the Aug. 9 assault at his home in the Bronx, Middletown Township police said. Troy McCoy, 39, faces aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and other charges in the attack. His roommate, Shakerra Bonds, 31, has also been charged with simple assault and criminal conspiracy and has arranged to turn herself in, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The teenage employee, who hasn’t been named, had a tooth removed and needed double jaw surgery after the assault, according to a GoFundMe set up by a family friend.
“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.
Workers around the U.S. have dealt with a spate of violent attacks as they try to enforce mandatory mask rules, from Trader Joe’s employees beaten by irate customers in New York to a Family Dollar security guard fatally shot in Michigan to a cigar store clerk in Pennsylvania fired at by a man who later blasted at police with an AK-47.
The violence at Sesame Place unfolded around 5 p.m. on August 9. The teenage employee was working at the Captain Cookie’s High C’s Adventure ride when he reminded the pair that the park requires masks at all times except when eating or drinking, the Inquirer reported.
After McCoy punched the teen, police said, Bond punched another employee who tried to help. The couple then fled the park, but police used surveillance footage and visitor logs to identify their vehicle and trace them to a Bronx apartment.
New York police asked the Marshals for help because McCoy had a history of violent interactions with authorities, police told LevittownNow.com. When federal agents showed up at his Bronx residence on Wednesday morning, McCoy refused to come out. Agents eventually burst in and used a Taser on him, Middletown Township Police Lt. Steve Forman told the site.
Bonds arranged to turn herself into police in Middletown Township, the Inquirer reported. It’s not clear whether either Bonds or McCoy have hired attorneys yet.
In a statement, Sesame Place said the park’s management was “relieved” at the arrest and said McCoy and Bonds have been banned for life from returning to the park.
The teen injured in the assault was released from the hospital on Friday, LevittownNow.com reported. But the victim is still struggling, his family friend wrote on GoFundMe.
“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.”