Thursday, March 23, 2000

Kings Island not liable in attack

Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — A Warren County jury on Wednesday found Paramount's Kings Island was not negligent in a 1998 attack upon two teen-age visitors.

        Maureen Weincouff and Brandon Grutzmacher sued the Mason amusement park after being assaulted by a group of African-Americans. They say the park security was inadequate.

        They sought $1.04 million in damages. But their medical bills totaled less $500.

        “We're pleased that the jury upheld the actions of Paramount's Kings Island's security team,” said Kent Wellington, the park's attorney.

        He acknowledged the teens were assaulted, but said that the park was not responsible.

        The families of Ms. Weincouff, 18, and Mr. Grutzmacher, 19, maintain that the teens did nothing to provoke the attack and that it was racially motivated.

        “That's what they (alleged attackers) said right before they beat them up,” said Theodore Froncek, attorney for the families.

        The August 1998 incident occurred just outside the park's main gate. Ms. Weincouff said several people surrounded her and Mr. Grutzmacher and yelled at them. Some allegedly then punched Mr. Grutzmacher, and pulled Ms. Weincouff's hair and burned her with a cigarette.

        Jeff Sutton, a park patron who saw the incident, said that the groups were yelling and then started fighting. He said he saw a cut lip on Mr. Grutzmacher, but no visible injuries on Ms. Weincouff.

        The families say that the attackers should have been arrested and that the park did not have proper security.

        “We want the public to know that the police at Paramount work for Paramount, not for you,” said Jerry Rose, Ms. Weincouff's stepfather. “That's why I believe they didn't make the arrests because they didn't want the bad publicity.”

        They said they tried to settle with the park, but Paramount's Kings Island insisted that a settlement include a condition that the families not be allowed to talk publicly about the incident.

        Mr. Wellington said he could not comment on settlement attempts.

        The families were disappointed in the jury's verdict.

        “I just feel like they got away with it. Money talks. I'm shocked,” said Kendra Grutzmacher, Brandon's mom. ”The little guy has no chance. I know that now.”


Gore visit will raise $500,000
Chesley accustomed to big-name house guests
Gore to salute Sands' success
Officer taken off street duty
Officials apologize for officer's remarks
One true thing is Anita Hill's role in history
What is 'football ready'?
Vietnam legacy: Growing up fatherless
Better relations with Vietnam help in search for remains
No ho-ho: Twinkie shortage on the way
School plan cuts main office staff
Tobacco carding likely to continue
$2.5 million bouquet to florist from city
Adams Co. group wins award for Commandments fight
Man charged with raping, killing daughter, 2
Turfway puts on glitz for Spiral Stakes
Whassup? Bud's buzzword borrows from male ritual
Drummer Von Ohlen gets a new shtick
Mapplethorpe on front burner at arts censorship conference
Orange barrels of the Lord
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
'Stomp' antics bring out kid in Aronoff audience
Audit confirms Ludlow problems
Campbell bailiff was tough, honest cop
Channel 9 also stands for non-news
Covington schools to get help
Deerfield, clerk-elect continue battle
Drug suspect on the run, captured here
Edgewood schools wait and see on projects
GOP keeps leaders
Hustler store plans delayed
- Kings Island not liable in attack
Ohio farmers face dry summer
Overturned tanker stalls traffic
Robbery suspect arrested
S. African pupils get taste of America
Schools focus anew on readers in fourth grade
Senate panel OKs budget after slashes
Sewage plant site top priority
Sheppard's words read in court