A Teen Worker at Sesame Place Got His Jaw Broken for Asking Someone to Wear a Mask

U.S. Marshals arrested the man in his home on Wednesday.
In this Nov. 23, 2006, file photo, the Sesame Street Big Bird balloon sways in the wind during the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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Not even somewhere as wholesome as Sesame Place is free from the wrath of anti-maskers.

U.S. Marshals arrested Troy McCoy, 39, in his Bronx home Wednesday after he allegedly broke the jaw of a 17-year-old employee of the Langhorne, Pennsylvania, amusement park. The teen had asked McCoy and his girlfriend to put on a mask, as mandated by the park’s policy, and ended up spending days in the hospital after undergoing jaw surgery.

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The incident took place around 5 p.m. Aug. 9 in front of the “Captain Cookie’s High C Adventure” ride, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The teen employee, whose name has not been released to the public, reminded McCoy and girlfriend Shakerra Bonds, 31, that the park requires visitors to wear masks at all times unless they’re drinking or eating. Police say McCoy responded by punching the teen to the ground. As another employee tried to intervene, Bonds allegedly punched them as well. The couple then fled the park.

Shortly after the alleged attack, the teen employee was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent double jaw surgery and had a tooth removed. He was released from the hospital Aug. 14, according to a GoFundMe page created to help cover the hospital expenses. As of Thursday morning, the page had raised $18,670, only a few hundred dollars short of its $20,000 goal.

“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,” the GoFundMe page reads. “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.”

Authorities say they tracked the couple back to their New York City apartment using a combination of park surveillance footage and eyewitness accounts. McCoy has been charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. Bonds, who has agreed to turn herself in to authorities in Middletown Township, New Jersey, faces charges of simple assault and criminal conspiracy.

Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. has seen a spike in attacks against essential workers encouraging customers to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Just last week, police in Baton Rouge arrested three women for attacking a 17-year-old Chili’s hostess after she informed the party of 11 that they’d have to be split up into separate tables. The teen was taken to the hospital, where she received five stitches above her eye and was treated for other minor injuries.

Cover: FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2006, file photo, the Sesame Street Big Bird balloon sways in the wind during the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)