WASHINGTON – There’s growing concern that a horror movie is the inspiration for violent teenage fights, including the large late-night brawl at Six Flags America Saturday night.
In the aftermath, three teenagers landed in the hospital. One 15-year-old boy is recovering from brain surgery and has been in a coma since the weekend.
Zina Pierre, a spokeswoman for the boy’s family, says teenagers were tweeting about having a “purge night” at Six Flags America, before the fights broke out. A “purge night” is a reference to “The Purge” and “The Purge: Anarchy” horror movies. The plot is about a 12-hour period when all crime is legal in the United States, including murder, to allow for government-sanctioned population control.
Prince George’s County Police spokeswoman Julie Parker says police are aware of the posts on social media and are investigating.
Pierre says, “These kids communicate on social media amongst themselves, and if the parents don’t see it, they’re dropping off kids and they don’t know.”
She’s concerned that people may try to copy the movie for online bragging rights. Last year, violent attacks on innocent bystanders, known as “The Knockout Game,” killed several people. Investigators aren’t saying whether all of the teenagers involved in the brawl came to the park with the intention of fighting.
During the boy’s surgery yesterday morning, doctors removed part of his skull. It will remain separated for about 30 days to allow the brain swelling to go down. Pierre says the Duvall High School freshman needs a ventilator to breathe and will be in the ICU for at least two weeks.
Prince George’s County Police and the Maryland State’s Attorney Office is investigating the incident, interviewing witnesses and reviewing security footage from that night. There haven’t been any arrests.
In a statement, Six Flags America says they are beefing up security and “