Sunday, September 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mom sues Six Flags, says park detained daughters

Six Flags for Discover Solano Now

Amusement park fans ride the Medusa roller coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo. (Daily Republic file 2012)

By
From page A4 | March 06, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — A mother has sued Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo because she says security guards berated her 16-year-old and 14-year-old daughters for three hours in a closed room after falsely accusing one girl of shoplifting jewelery from a gift shop at the park.

Nancy Chan, spokeswoman for Six Flags, said park officials are unable to comment because the matter is in litigation.

Cynthia Solano of Fairfield said her daughters went with other volunteers from a Boys and Girls Club to the park in 2011, where the two girls entered a gift shop, browsed and left without a purchase. Another volunteer paid for a necklace and gave it to the 16-year-old girl, who was outside the shop, according to the lawsuit.

Two security guards accused the teen of stealing the necklace and though she denied doing so, they took the two sisters to a private holding office where the 16-year-old pleaded with staff to keep the door open, the suit states. The door remained closed and the 16-year-old called the volunteer who bought the necklace, according to the suit.

He gave proof of purchase to the security guards – who were laughing about the incident – but they claimed the bar codes didn’t match and continued to harass the girls, according to the suit. The guards repeatedly threatened to arrest the 16-year-old if she didn’t sign forms and allow her picture to be taken, the suit states. The head of park security arrived and further questioned the two girls for about an hour before allowing them to call their mother, according to the suit.

While waiting for her to arrive, the 14-year-old asked why they were being held but the head of security told the girl to keep her mouth shut, the lawsuit contends. When the mother arrived, she was forced to wait 45 minutes and sign forms before the park staff would take her back to see her children, according to the suit. The mother said holding her daughters without her consent or knowledge was unwarranted, the suit adds.

Park security released the girls, but didn’t return the jewelry and told the youths they were banned from any Six Flags park, according to the suit.

Fictitious names are used in the lawsuit for both girls to protect their privacy. The suit was filed last month in Solano County Superior Court over the July 29, 2011, incident at Six Flags.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

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Discussion | 7 comments

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  • FF64March 06, 2014 - 1:04 am

    Aren't they a little late filing? I believe two years is the statute of limitations for this type of suit.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • my2centsMarch 06, 2014 - 5:25 am

    The security personnel at theme parks are often poorly trained, over zealous individuals who cannot qualify for careers in law enforcement. It is shocking to read that Six Flags falsely imprisoned the children in the face of evidence they were innocent! I will not send my kids to Six Flags!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterMarch 06, 2014 - 6:00 am

    It should be cut-and-dried... if the LP guys witnessed the crime, then they either 1) cut the girls loose with a warning, 2) issue a letter of barring, 3) call the cops and effect a citizen's arrest. There is no option 4 that allows for false imprisonment for 3 hours nor harassment. Sue their pants off!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MadelineMarch 06, 2014 - 8:55 am

    No one questions Minors without parental consent/presence which is why law enforcement immediately contacts the parents. Then the questions and the mismatch bar is an easy solve at the gift shop happens all the time. Those wannabe bad cops need to be fired as does anyone involved with the decision making process that has traumatized those poor girls. I hope they get sued deeply for false imprisonment and no doubt the PTSD those girls may now have. Things move slowly that's why it is only now hitting the public and places like that hide their dirty laundry as much as possible. Go get 'em mom!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LilMarch 06, 2014 - 10:32 am

    Mismatched bar codes do not happen all the time. The bar code is scanned from the item being purchased, the info is printed on the receipt. How would that get mismatched?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MadelineMarch 06, 2014 - 11:30 am

    The mismatched discription can happen in what is called a batch item. That's when a lot of items come in and the majority are for example 'hair accessories' and only some are jewelry. That is what was explained to me when i bought a silver chain as a gift for a friend and saw the description. The manager said it wasn't a problem as long as she had the tag and the gift receipt because they knew it was a batch item. She said corporate should put in a good description though. So the officers should've involved the store personnel who could have cleared up the confusion. Hope that helps.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LilMarch 06, 2014 - 7:06 pm

    The article doesn't say that the description didn't match. It said the bar codes didn't match. When a cashier scans the bar code, a different bar code will not appear on the receipt.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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