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Valleyfair Beating

135 posts in this topic

I’m sure by now most of you have heard about the 4th of July beating that took place at Valleyfair when a father tried to intervene when a man inappropriately touched his 12 year old daughter. It’s a very disturbing story and I find myself contemplating what I would have done if that had been me or even if I would have been in the crowd.

Reading other message boards and opinions the first thing that comes out is what if this father or anyone around would have had a concealed carry permit. Of course right away some people chime in with “I would have shot the scum for doing that to my daughter” but the reality is you can’t just open fire on someone in a situation like this.

What do you do if you are the father? In this case the story so far is that he yelled at them for what they did/were doing (doesn’t sound like he initiated the physical altercation) and as a result these guys called their friends on the phone and it turned into an 8 on 1 beating. I’m sure he tried to defend himself but probably didn’t stand much of a chance. Even if he did get physical with the first guy and he didn’t have any friends with him can you imagine the fallout and media coverage as a guy at Valleyfair beats up a young man for supposedly touching his daughter. It would turn into a he said – she said ordeal and the young man would wind up claiming he accidentally ran into the girl and this overprotective father assaulted him. Bring on the lawyers and the ACLU.

Would you have jumped in and try to help if you were in the crowd? The only thing I ask is that before responding with a knee jerk “of course I would” play through this event in your mind. You have a group of 8 hardcore thugs savagely attacking someone, you’re there with your family – do you leave your family and put yourself in harms way? You’re basically entering an 8 on 1 fight yourself as the other guy is already on the ground. The story does mention that one other man was punched in the face, don’t know if he was attempting to stop one of these guys. I would like to think I would jump in to do what I could, I really do hate the “look the other way if it doesn’t affect me attitude” that seems so prevalent these days. However in reflecting on it I keep coming up with other questions:

1. Given what’s already happening to the guy is it responsible of me as a father there with my family to risk winding up beaten half to death?

2. Would it be smarter to try and get security/police involved as soon as possible?

3. In this day and age of lawsuits and personal rights violations do you run the risk of being sued yourself? Probably an even greater risk of litigation if you were to grab something to use as a weapon.

Thoughts? My initial reaction, as I’m sure it was for most people, was outrage. Since then I’m just finding myself questioning how I would handle a situation like this if I ever found myself in the middle or a witness to. Seems like senseless stories like this are more and more common. Just heard about a bunch of kids beating up a bus driver in St Paul last night

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Pepper spray. Empty it on him. I don't care if I go to jail, if someone touches my child in that manner - I'll take my chances with a jury.

And a knee in the nuts for good measure. Then RUN, don't walk, to the security office/police with my family.

I've given Pepper spray to my daughter and will be getting one for my son as well. I'm thinking about carrying one of those collapsable batons. Hey, that guy didn't have a chance, but maybe it would even the odds a bit.

I remember reading 20 years ago that there would come a time when we saw a group of youth and would be afraid. That day has come. If these groups come at you, you will be in a world of hurt - so I'm going make it hurt. Gangs and terrorists - you can't just hide from them any more. (in my opinion...)

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Both of them very sick situations.

You pose some very good questions. Given the state of the laws in this country, the best response is what some people obviously did: contact the authorities.

I would definitely like to be the sentencing judge on this one. Castration seems like a good start.

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Here's the artice in case anyone hasn't heard about it:

Dad who shielded daughter in attack at Valleyfair recovering, wife says

Police continue to investigate brutal assault; more charges against the ambushing group are possible.

Star Tribune

Last update: July 16, 2008 - 10:09 AM

A woman whose husband was severely beaten trying to protect his daughter from being molested as the family left Valleyfair said Tuesday they remain traumatized and are still healing from bruises and injuries.

Eight young men are accused of taking turns stomping on and kicking the head of the 41-year-old man, who was knocked unconscious as his wife and three daughters tried to help him. Prosecutors say more serious charges could be brought against the men if the man's injuries are permanent.

"He is hanging in there," said his wife, who asked that the family not be identified out of fear for their safety. She didn't recognize their attackers: "I never seen them a day before in my life."

Shakopee police said serious felony assaults are unusual at the amusement park, which normally has a handful of misdemeanor assaults each summer. The park said Tuesday that 22 security guards were on duty the evening of the assault, July 4, when the fair closed at midnight, and that safety is a priority.

Police arrested seven of the suspects in the Valleyfair parking lot that night and the eighth escaped. Police did not have a good description of that suspect but would like help finding him.

Six men and a 14-year-old boy were charged July 8 with third-degree felony assault. More serious charges, and possibly a sex assault charge, may be filed after police finish their investigation, Scott County Attorney Patrick Ciliberto said Tuesday.

"This type of violence cannot be accepted in our community," he said. "We had a family at the fair enjoying the holiday. Behavior like this is personal to our community."

Ciliberto said Valleyfair has had "no assault of this magnitude" since he took office in 2002. He said the father was taken to Ridges Hospital in Burnsville for a fractured eye socket bone and other injuries. His office was told Monday that doctors were waiting for the man's swelling to subside before checking for permanent injuries, which could justify more serious charges.

The couple was nearing the exit gate with their three daughters at about midnight on July 4, when two young men approached and slapped the youngest girl, about 12, on her buttocks. Her father yelled at the men, one of whom pulled out a cell phone and called for others to join in on the assault.

The wife said she and her daughters tried to protect her husband, and are still recovering from being punched. Her husband has been home from the hospital for a week .

She said she couldn't say more for fear of hurting the prosecution's case.

The assault "was an isolated incident. This has not happened before," said Valleyfair spokeswoman Rachel Onken. "We are a very safe park." She said the guards handled the incident as they were trained and no immediate security changes are planned.

Shakopee Police Capt. Jeff Tate said Valleyfair has "a skirmish once in a while. We usually don't see anything escalate like this." He said park security officers do a good job and that this is the only felony assault this year. He said a domestic assault occurred in the Valleyfair parking lot in May and two juveniles were charged in June with disorderly conduct and misdemeanor assault.

One of the suspects, Darris D. Evans, allegedly punched a man in the face as the group left the unconscious father. Evans, 20, of Brooklyn Park, is charged with a misdemeanor assault for that offense, Tate said.

Besides Evans, five other men and an unnamed juvenile were charged with third-degree felony assault. The five are Derry D. Evans, 19, Minneapolis; Devondre Evans-Lewis, 18, of Columbia Heights; Terry L. Arnold, 22, Brooklyn Park; Andrew D. Shannon, 19, of Minneapolis, and Anthony C. Gildersleeve, 20, Edina.

Bail was set at $40,000 to $60,000 each and all the suspects posted bail bonds, a jail official said.

A check of state records show that two of the suspects have prior felony charges. Arnold and Evans-Lewis were arrested in an Eagan prostitution sting and charged in April with promoting prostitution in Dakota County. Arnold pleaded guilty in May. Arnold also was convicted of two misdemeanor assaults in 2005 and 2006.

Gildersleeve was convicted in March 2008 of carrying a pistol without a permit in a public place, a misdemeanor. Derry Evans was convicted of escaping from custody in January 2008. He was also convicted in May 2008 of disorderly conduct, a gross misdemeanor.

Staff writer Abby Simons contributed to this report. Jim Adams • 612-673-7658

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Hadn't heard anything about it (I rarely watch news)

That should make almost anyone feel a little uncomfortable inside... No idea what the situation really was or how it went down but I have to wonder what security at valley fair is like? Haven't been there in well over 10 years so I do not know but it surprises me that a place containing that many dangerous rides and such wouldn't have a lot of first responder/security personnel. Wonder if they are going to be found liable for any of this?

I support concealed carry. Criminals already have guns and don't follow laws.

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Here's how it it works, if I see a scum bag attempting to or causing any harm to any child, I'll stop him or her and make sure they don't move till 5-O gets there, if that means softening up their position, that's what I would do.

I you touch a kid in my family pray they get you before I do, nothing means more to me than them, I'll take my chances getting sued by a quadriplegic pedophile.

You just don't mess with kids unless you got a death wish, bottom line.

And I'm an extremely non violent person.

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Everybody has a cell phone, and everyone I've ever seen had the number 911 on it. I think as soon as he saw the friends coming he should have called it.

I can't say what I would have done since I wasn't there. I too have a 12 year old daughter and where thinking of spending a day at VF. I'm not so sure now. It's really such a sad deal that it has come to this.

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I find it interesting Valley Fair is covering there own buts and trying to say how safe there park is. I didnt notice any concerns for the family mentioned.

As for stepping in to help that is a judgment call that one has to make for ones self, many variables come into play.

Keep in mind a mob mentality can be hard to defuse. Though one person may not be able to stop a mob of 8 but 3 or 4 adults stepping in may stop it. So ask yourself will you be one of those 3 or 4 who step in or be an on looker waiting for others to step in.

I guess if I were attacked I would ask why didnt anybody help?

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Aside from the horrible beating. Take a look at all the police blotter on VF in the Shakopee News sometime. The crime that goes on there is undeniable.

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I have question the intelligence of releasing on bail those with prior records and especially those that have been escaped before.

Bob

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Quote:
What do you do if you are the father? In this case the story so far is that he yelled at them for what they did/were doing (doesn’t sound like he initiated the physical altercation) and as a result these guys called their friends on the phone and it turned into an 8 on 1 beating.

If it would have been my daughter, he would not have had a chance to get his freakin phone open. Situation like that I probably wouldn't said a whole lot before I grabbed him. It have taken a crowd of people to pull me off him.

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I'm not sure if I'll ever go back to VF w/ my kids. Went in June and saw/heard a lot of things that I'm not too interested in having my kids around. They want to go and ride the rides to have fun. I wasn't having fun listening to 15 year olds drop the f bomb, budge in line and act as if there was no problem with either. I told one kid that the back of the line is over there and he didn't even flinch. Just kept hanging with his "pack". Not much of a family place anymore. My kids love it, but I'm not overly comfortable taking them there anymore, and then this. This should be a PR nightmare for VF.

Glad to see the Strib published the faces of the young lads who have been charged. I hope the judge puts them away for a long time.

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I haven't been able to confirm but I've read that Valley Fair has a "Firearms not allowed" policy - does this prohibit CC permit holders from carrying?

I also question the granting of bail to these guys given their prior records.

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Problem is this is no differnt than what has ben going on for years at Mall of America. Punks run in packs and They rule. If you get a gang up to beat them down they are just kids and you are the ones who are wrong. Laws are not tough on kids. Even Punks. Somethings got to change but until every Civil liberty freek has this happen to someone they are close too. The kids cannot be blamed or unfairly treated. Puke. Nothing is getting fixed at MOA so now comes the spread.

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What I have learned in my life is some get beat and others do the beating. But almost a 100% of the time a domestic situation is avoidable from both sides with men and women. Then there are others who talk a good fight when things are said, but do not realize what they are getting into and make the wrong decisions, then find out the hard way.

I do not know what transpired in this situation and it would be hard to make a “post” judgment call at this point.

I do not have daughters, only boys. I will add I have a very attractive wife. I have found my self in a situation at the local movie theater a couple years back that could have ended up like this. I how ever took my pride and stuck it between my legs for my families sake. I looked at my boys and figured this was not a fight I was going to further. In the end, a quick run to the car, a little damaged pride, but my family was safe and things went on as normal. Plus, I had thoughts a going to jail in my mind. I do not want to go to jail. It could happen no matter how "good" your intentions are.

Now, if my family is safe I would be one to help out a person who is way out numbered, even if I do not know them (maybe the liberal in me coming out). It would be very hard for me to just stand by and watch some one get beat by a group of people looking like they are having fun. I did such a thing about 7 years ago at a party. I got a fractured scull (from my nostril to my eye socket) from a very big Marine. I can still feel it when I humm. The bad part was I did not stop and still was going when the police arrived. Total nother story. Fact is if my family had been their (at my age of 30 now), my family would the first thing on my mind.

Now, throw guns in the situation, from the father side or the other groups side, someone would have been dead. With 8 guys, a gun shot,father having permite and a gun, it could have been the father easy.

If you pull the trigger, your are a killer, end of story (unless they live). Self defense or not , in your mind you will be a murder. If you think you would never think that, that is normal middle class American talk/thought. If you actually think that after you pull the trigger, your screwed up.

Good luck!

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Great post shack!

I agree that if guns were involved in this situation it would have been a lot worse. People would have died without question and that is something noone should ever want regardless of how bad these kids were acting. If it was me as the father in that situation I would have told the young men politely to not treat girls/women like that. Then I would have taken my family and left.

I'm really concerned that a lot of you have said that carrying a gun is the answer to situations like this. I'm sorry but I have to disagree with that and I truly believe guns make all situations worse. If you pull a gun out with intention of scaring away a criminal, what makes you think they don't have a gun themselves. Now shots will be fired and there will be funerals to attend.

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"Self defense or not , in your mind you will be a murder"er

Umm, no I would not think that.

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Ray,

Shoot someone, have them die and let us know how it goes.

I hope it is more than just a sexual harassment issue that has escalated that causes you to pull the trigger.

Good luck and this is all I have to say about this! smile

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I couldn't disagree more. this all depends on your moral fiber and character. A gun would have settled this instantly with out ever being fired, as it does every day in this country only you never hear about it.

when this fight was one on one was the real time to end this but in this sitsutation an 8 on 1 would have been the time to pull out a weapon and defuse! not escalte the sitsutation just as the police do every day.

I have a 13 year old daughter and she is stunning. not her fault. it is my duty as a fatber to do all I can to make sure that she has a chance to get away in this sort of sitsuation.

let every creep know that I will go to the end to make sure that my family is safe and your poor judgement and character are on trial the instant you assult them and I will be the judge. We don't have to tolerate this sort of thing and I could not be more proud of this man.

there is a time to run but when you can't be ready to fight.

I would rather end up in the hospital or jail for a night than to have my daughter permenatly scared for life.

What would it be like to live with thinking I may have been able to do something if I could not get myself and them away from harm.

Most of the time it's what we do, not what we think that shows our true character. But then again I'm the type that will forgive but I will never forget.

Mine won't be the popular belief and thet's just fine with me.

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Ask some of our returning vets who have killed or seen a killing if it didn't effect them the rest of their lives, and they are supposed to be trained to kill. Our the police officer who has to take a life in the line of duty, many are not able to return to thier line of work. Yes, it is killing, either in self defense or not. I don't know what I would have done as a father and am very glad that I did not have to face the situation.

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Yep, i guarantee you 3 shots fired straight in the air and these low lifes are running for the parking lot.

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I don't have a problem with any of these "terrorists" dying. This is exactly what is wrong with this country...too many bleeding hearts. Grow a set and man up! If I seen this happening I would jump in and help without question. Waiting for the police to show up might not cut it. Good people need to start helping each other out. Were so divided in this country that I think we need to split the country in half. We'll all know what side we want to be on.

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Maybe it because of my past and the respect I have for guns and people dieing (war vets are a major reason for my views), but I just could not add up a possible valid reason for a gun being discharged during this situation. Again, I was not their.

All I am saying (no matter how wrong things are), we as pride toting Americans find our selves in these situations, because of our “pride“. Anyone in my book (with their family) that lets pride get the best of them, well, gets what they deserve. In this case a beating in front of their loved ones frown . It may be all in pride in what was done, a hospital stay for what they done or a trip to jail while they figure things out and then what happens after that of people where shot.

Anyone one with a permit (I hope to God) would have taken another way out, not to find him/her self in this situation. If not, god help the pistol toting Americans. We will loose the privilege to carry guns. If I shot off a couple rounds to detour a group in Valley Fair, I would have to do some fast talking if I had a permit or go to jail (I would hope). Most likey gone to jail for discharging my firearm in a public place.

I own hand guns. I have respect for hand guns. I have never pulled the trigger (no pun intended) to get the permit, because I have never wanted to have to carry one. I ain’t a cop, I am not in the army and I do not want to have the burden of killing someone on my mind, because I pulled the trigger. As it is a right to do so. Maybe one day, when gas gets to about $10.00 a gallon.

I just hope with my kids going to Valley fair, a fight is the only thing and not gun shots. frown

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