A New York couple has been sentenced to prison after being convicted in last summer’s assault of a Sesame Place employee that prosecutors said happened hours after the victim tried to enforce the theme park’s face mask policy.
Troy McCoy, 41, was sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison Monday, while Shakerra Bonds, 32, was sentenced to 4-to-23 months in prison, according to court documents.
In August 2020, the teenage employee was assaulted by the couple at Sesame Place in Langhorne, 26 miles outside of Philadelphia, after the teen reminded McCoy of the park’s mask policy, prosecutors said. The policy at the time required face coverings at all times in public spaces.
CNN has reached out to Sesame Place but has not heard back.
The Sesame Place employee saw McCoy waiting in line for a ride and asked him to wear his mask but McCoy was angered by the request and began yelling at him, so the teen walked away to avoid a confrontation, according to a Bucks County District Attorney’s Office news release.
Hours later, the teen ran into McCoy and Bonds at another ride, prosecutors said.
“McCoy got off that ride and threatened to teach the employee a lesson,” the news release said. “During that confrontation, both McCoy and Bonds struck the employee in the face, knocking him to the ground. While on the ground, the teen lost consciousness and McCoy continued to strike him.”
Prosecutors said the altercation left the teenage worker with a broken jaw.
A Bucks County jury found McCoy and Bonds, of the Bronx, guilty on July 9, after a four-day trial in front of President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. in Bucks County.
“The suggestion that Mr. McCoy punched a Sesame Place employee merely because the employee asked him to wear a mask is absurd,” Brooks T. Thompson, McCoy’s attorney, told CNN in a statement. “Mr. McCoy had completely disengaged with this employee and walked away from the area. By all accounts, he did not enter back into the fray until the mother of his children, Ms. Bonds, became engaged in a physical confrontation with the same employee.”
The teenage employee underwent surgery for a fractured jaw and injuries to his teeth, according to CNN affiliate WPVI.
McCoy was convicted of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, simple assault, harassment, and disorderly conduct. He was acquitted of conspiracy.
He will be eligible for parole after serving his minimum sentence, which in this case is five years, Thompson said. He’s already spent over a year in jail awaiting trial, which will be credited toward his sentence, and should be eligible for parole in late August of 2025.
Bonds was convicted of simple assault and disorderly conduct. She was found not guilty of a second count of simple assault on a different park employee and conspiracy, court documents showed.
“The jury acquitted Ms. Bonds of all of the most serious charges,” Keith E. McAndrews, Bonds’ attorney told CNN in a statement. “In addition, the jury did not conclude that Ms. Bonds had anything to do with the broken jaw caused by Mr. McCoy.”
“The jury concluded that Mr. McCoy’s actions and Ms. Bonds’ actions were two separate and distinct incidents and that they were not acting in concert,” McAndrews said. “Ms. Bonds was convicted of an attempted misdemeanor assault which involved her throwing one punch at a park employee after the employee had pushed her.”
McCoy was ordered to pay Sesame Place more than $48,0000 in restitution and take anger management classes, according to court documents. Both Bonds and McCoy are not permitted in Sesame Place and the court ordered them to not have contact with the teenage victim.
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