Police searching for man who punched teen Sesame Place worker over mask requirement

Police searching for man who punched teen Sesame Place worker over mask requirement
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A teen employee at Sesame Place had to undergo surgery on Monday after being punched by a man he told to wear a face mask, and police say they are still searching for the suspect.

According to a local NBC News affiliate, a teen employee at Sesame Street theme park in Pennsylvania asked a man to wear a face mask, noting they are required in the park. Police say the man later confronted the teen at Captain Cookie's High C's Adventure ride and punched him in the face. 

Park security chased the man, but he and a woman fled and reportedly were last seen driving away in a vehicle registered in New York. Police are asking for any details about the suspect, whose identity is unknown. Police believe they are between the ages of 20 and 30. 

The teen had to undergo surgery on Monday after suffering a jaw injury and damaged tooth. 

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In a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a Sesame Place spokesperson said: "We’ve been in close communication with the family of our injured team member, and are hopeful for a full and speedy recovery. The health and safety of our guests and team members is our top priority, and violence of any kind is unacceptable and not tolerated at our park."

Face coverings are required in Pennsylvania and are required at the park which recently reopened after closing during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The confrontation marks just the latest of many widespread incidents of verbal harassment or attacks on workers trying to enforce mask requirements. Due to the issue, Illinois recently made it a felony to assault a worker who is enforcing mask requirements.