The cliche thing may be to poke fun at Six Flags operations, but here's an instance where Security's actions, coupled with law enforcement at the scene, may have prevented something really awful:
HOLMDEL, NJ -- When Six Flags Great Adventure (SFGA) in Jackson tells you they are one of the safest parks in the USA, they now have a great example to back that claim up.
A real life Fright Fest was averted when quick thinking security at SFGA and their partners at Jackson Police Department coordinated to secure an irrational subject who had enough weaponry for a mass murder.
This Goosebumps story was virtually ripped off the screen this week as a potential killer was taken off the streets. According to a news release from the Jackson Police Department, at approximately the incident began at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Thursday when, while working a security detail assignment at SFGA, Sgt. Michael Kelly and Officer Andy Falzarano were alerted by SFGA security to their concerns about Jonathan Fruchter, 38. Fruchter, the report said, was at the employee training center after reportedly coming to the park seeking a job. The suspect, officials allege, was acting irrationally and asking questions about the park’s security protocols.
The officers responded to the location and were advised that the man had been previously escorted out of the park due to his behavior but had returned and began to allegedly harass employees because he had not been hired.
The officers spoke with the subject and, through their investigation, learned that he possessed a handgun in his vehicle parked in the SFGA parking lot. As the investigation progressed, the officers searched the vehicle and recovered:
- a Glock 9mm handgun in a holster, - three loaded 15 round magazines for the gun, - several knives, a SOG machete, and - a SOG tactical tomahawk, several knives, handcuffs and a hat with the NYPD logo on it.
The subject was then placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters. Members of the department’s Detective Bureau then assisted with the investigation and later searched the subject’s residence in Allentown. The search resulted in the seizure of:
- an AR-15 rifle, - several 30 round magazines for the rifle, and - a Sig Sauer 40 caliber handgun and ammunition.
Fruchter was charged with unlawful possession of weapons, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, certain persons not to possess weapons, possession of magazines capable of holding in excess of 10 rounds and possession of handcuffs.
Yeah, that's a few too many weapons to be accidental. Especially coupled with the behaviour, lots of red flags there. The charge of certain persons not to possess indicates he may have some things in his background too. Good on Six Flags and the police to be watching out for the Six Flags guests and employees' safety.
Can't speak on hotels, besides mentioning that the closest ones to the park are roughly 20 minutes away. The park is pretty isolated.
If you plan on coming for Fright Fest on Halloween weekend, you'll absolutely need the platinum flash pass for both rides and mazes. It's the busiest time of year; you'd be looking at 3+ hour waits across the board without them.
Yesterday was my first visit to the park in 5 years and I’m impressed with how much has changed. I fully anticipated needing Flash Pass but surprisingly it wasn’t that crowded for a Sunday during Fright Fest.
My longest wait was Wonder Woman at 30 mins and that was well worth it. I read somewhere that #29 was the magic seat and somehow ended up in it despite the free for all seating arrangement. Such an amazing ride. WW, Cyborg, and JL did a great job at balancing out the right side of the park. I spent more time in MovieTown than I ever have in the past. (Special thanks to Dead Mans Party)
Another highlight of the day was Zumanjaro. That view is incredible and although the drop wasn’t as forceful as I thought it would be, the speed and length of the drop made up for it.
Operations weren’t bad. All of the coasters were basically station waits. The only ride I didn’t get to do was Justice League because it was down by the time I got around to it. Batman was down for a short period too but opened back up after my ride on Nitro. SN, Anybody know why Batman has 3 trains?? I only remember two in the past.
Overall, it’s good to see Great Adventure filled in their gaps with the new non coaster additions. I’m excited to see how Jersey Devil complements their already stellar coaster line up.
Jason Maier wrote:So I'm thinking about traveling up for Fright Fest and staying overnight (I have a lot of time off accumulated and if I feel like it; plan on staying/doing Fright Fest October 31-November 2 or 3).
Best hotels to stay nearby? And is it worth it for me to get Flash Pass and/or Express line passes for the mazes?
The first time we went this year we went to the Comfort Suites not too far away and was way less than impressed, however the second time we went, we stayed at the Courtyard by Mariott in Cranbury/South Brunswick. Its about 30 minutes away but its really nice and fairly reasonable price wise (we got it for about $100 for 4 people, not too shabby). It was also just recently remodeled which is nice.
We did fine without the flash pass, got on Kingda Ka, El Toro, Zumanjaro, Nitro, Joker, Skull Mountain, etc. with no crazy long waits (at most 30 minutes). However, we didn't do the houses which definitely had long lines. I have heard they aren't necessarily worth the cost but I'm sure someone else can elaborate further on that.
Being open until midnight surely helps for ride lines, however keep in mind some days they don't allow re-entry after 8pm.
Last Coaster:Nitro @ Six Flags Great Adventure 150TH COASTER: The Riddler Revenge @ Six Flags New England RIDE ON
Most hotels close to the park are sold out for fright fest days. I was looking after returning from my trip in August. The ones in Cranbury involve paying a toll every time you drive to and from the park if you get on 95 to 195. There's obviously ways around the toll, just don't know how long those will take. I stayed in Hamilton Township last visit and it was great, all we had to do was stay on 195 to the park and it was 15 minutes.
Cheers to your park and state New Jersey. First time visit the Sunday before last and I had a great time. I love the scenic views from the lift hill especially Nitro. I took some heat for thinking your park is cleaner and prettier than either Six Flags in Texas but I stand by my observations. Didn't see any trash, operations were super ( especially Bizarro at night, 30 sec dispatches it seemed ), and everyone was very friendly. Lines were nothing either. Cheers to a great park and prob my best day riding other than Cedar Point. Keep up the good work! Had 3 rides each on all the major coasters and Bizarro at night was just awesome. Jersey Devil is gonna be a treat. Hopefully you get the moving station for faster ops.
I was also there on Sunday with my friend. We did a bunch of photo laps and those will be coming soon. It was one of my favorite days I've ever had at the park. Midways were pretty busy but there were no lines at all. We used our diamond skip-a-line pass for Wonder Woman and did the magic seats.
We also managed 10 rides on Toro without leaving the station (well we left once by choice just to get 5 rides on the other train) and then went back before closing and got 3 more rides. Also got Front row on the first train of the day on Ka, that was cool. Nitro's ops still amaze me, they were dispatching trains as soon as the other train left the lift.
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