Despite guidance from public health officials, wearing mask out in public has become a divisive and, sometimes, violent subject. This week, a teen worker for Sesame Place allegedly got punched in the face after asking a man and woman visiting the theme mark to wear their required face masks.
NBC 10 reported that two guests allegedly assaulted a 17-year-old employee at the ˆSesame Street theme park located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania on Aug. 9 after telling the pair they had to wear masks earlier in the day. "It originates from an employee reminding them about wearing masks," Middletown police Detective Lt. Steve Forman told the Bucks County Courier Times.
The employee was reportedly working at the Captain Cookie's High C's Adventure Ride when the couple confronted the worker and the alleged assault took place, according to NBC 10. The punch reportedly caused the employee to fall and had to be rushed to the hospital where he had surgery on his jaw, according to CBS News. The couple reportedly fled before the police arrived, according to USA Today, but police have tentative identification on the two subjects, CBS News Philly reported.
In a tweet on Aug. 12, Sesame Place said it's committed to providing a "safe and fun environment for everyone." A spokesperson for Sesame Place told the Philadelphia Inquirer that they are cooperating with local law enforcement as the investigation continues.
"On Sunday, Aug. 9, a guest assaulted and seriously injured one of our team members," a Sesame Place spokesperson told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We've been in close communication with the family of our injured team member, and are wishing for a full and speedy recovery. The health and safety of our guests and team members is a top priority, and violence of any kind is unacceptable and not tolerated. We are cooperating with local law enforcement on this ongoing investigation."
In the state of Pennsylvania, masks must be worn anytime someone leaves their home — both indoors and outdoors — when they're not able to maintain consistent social distancing.
At Sesame Place, guests older than 2 are required to wear a mask at all times, with the exception of eating or drinking, being in designated relaxation areas, or spending time at water attractions. Guests who don't comply are not permitted to enter or remain in the park. Sesame Place has also said that its safety measures will evolve based on the governmental derivatives and advancing scientific knowledge about COVID-19.
Sesame Place is not the only theme park with a mask policy. Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida also have similar mask requirements in place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.