SALEM, NH (CBS) – Screams of delight came from the Canobie Lake Park roller coaster on Tuesday, a sharp contrast to the shouts of profanity from just outside the entry turnstiles a day earlier.
“This family was hell bent on creating a disturbance,” says Deputy Chief Shawn Patten of the Salem, New Hampshire Police. “And they did just that.”
He’s talking about the Perry family – father Alan; sons Joshua, Brian, and Damian; and daughter-in-law Ashley — whose trek from northern Vermont to the Canobie Lake ended abruptly at the park’s security checkpoint on Monday afternoon.
According to police, at least a couple of the Perrys had hunting knives clipped to their belts when they showed up at the park entrance.
Citing park rules, security asked them to put the knives back in their vehicle. And when they were told such weapons were not allowed inside the park, they allegedly became belligerent.
“They were asked to put those items in their car if they wanted to come in,” says Canobie Lake’s Chris Nicoli. “They didn’t want to do it, and got unruly pretty quick.”
Police say Joshua Perry not only declined to stash the knife in his car, he launched into a curse-filled tirade in front of hundreds of parents and children.
And when two Salem cops working a detail at the amusement park moved in to arrest him, chaos ensued.
“They were jumping on officers’ backs,” says Deputy Chief Patten. “One officer was kicked in the head. They were punching and scratching. It was a melee.”
Patten says they even tried unsuccessfully to grab an officer’s gun from its holster before a swarm of backup officers arrived.
One officer suffered a separated shoulder, while a second suffered cuts and scrapes.
Joshua Perry was charged with riot, resisting arrest with serious injury, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
Alan Perry was charged with riot, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, second degree assault, and criminal trespass.
Brian Perry, 18, of Lyndonville, Vermont, was charged with riot, simple assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.
Damian Perry, 18, of Lyndonville, and Ashley Perry, 20, of Sutton, were both charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.
Joshua, Brian and Alan Perry remain behind bars after a judge boosted their bail to $10,000 cash.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
“No guests were in any danger,” says Nicoli. “This was a contained situation.”
But the bizarre incident did leave more than a few park-goers puzzled.
“Pretty crazy,” said one father entering the park with his wife and two young children. “I can’t believe it would happen at a family establishment like this with all these kids around.”
Police were equally baffled, indicating those arrested didn’t offer an explanation – or an apology.
“They turned what could have been a perfect day at a family park into a nightmare,” said Deputy Chief Patten shaking his head.
And to cap it off, police say, the mother in the group faked a seizure as officers hauled off her husband and sons.
She was examined and released at the scene.
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