~By Megan Craig / TribLocal Reporter
Two patrons were ejected from the Six Flags Great America theme park in Gurnee this week after allegedly striking repeatedly a woman dressed as Porky Pig, police said Tuesday.
The woman, an employee of the park who was dressed as the Warner Brothers character, was hit 10 to 15 times on the head at about 4 p.m. Monday, according to police and a statement by Great America.
Witnesses reported seeing Taras Sikalchuk and Dmytro Petrychenko hit the character on the back, sides and top of her head after posing for a picture with the character, Gurnee police said.
The victim was taken to Six Flags’ first aid station, and said she was experiencing a headache and sore neck and shoulders. A Great America spokeswoman described the employee’s injuries as “minor.”
“This was an isoloated incident,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “We have a Guest Code of Conduct at the park that we expect all our park guests to abide by. These guests clearly violated our Code of Conduct.”
“Park security responded immediately and ejected the guests from the park,” the Great America statement said.
Near Great America on Tuesday afternoon, park-goers expressed support for the worker.
Sikalchuk, 19, and Petrychenko, 20, both of Waukegan, denied hitting Porky Pig, police said. But both were cited for battery and released from custody – and the park.
Linda Lozano, 14, Joliet, said she’d tell the nearest Great America employee if she saw Porky Pig getting beat up. And she might have a few words for anyone attacking the character.
“I would tell them to back off, because she probably didn’t do anything that bad – or anything at all, maybe,” she said.
“There’s a lot of security people around,” added Jacob Verner, 14, of Saint Charles. “You want to help them, but there’s probably someone better to do it.”
“What a loser!” said Mike Kuhn, 15, also of Saint Charles, when told of the incident. “Why would you pay … to come here just to get kicked out?”
“I’d be like, ‘What are you doing? That’s just a helpless cartoon character!’” he added. “… I’d wrangle up all the cartoon characters and riot.”
Joanna Chavez, 19, of Brookfield, didn’t think it was a laughing matter.
“That’s kind of disgusting,” she said. “You just have to feel bad for these people. They’re out there in the hot sun all day.”