Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Boy, 15, assaulted at lodge (The Olympian)

Boy, 15, assaulted at lodge
SAFETY: Mother of victim wants Great Wolf Lodge to increase security in light of incident
JEREMY PAWLOSKI; Staff writer | • Published August 02, 2011

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who was beaten and robbed at Great Wolf Lodge says she would like to see the water park improve security measures to ensure the safety of the children who visit.

Three males – two 18-year-olds and a juvenile – have been arrested by Thurston County sheriff’s deputies in connection with the July 14 attack in the hotel area of the resort in Grand Mound.

The 18-year-olds, Emilio Colin and German Garcia-Rameriz of Centralia, have been charged with first-degree robbery. The juvenile male has been charged with second-degree robbery. According to court papers, the three suspects coaxed the victim to a stairwell from the hotel lobby and then beat him.

During the attack, the supects repeatedly punched the 15-year-old and continued to kick him after he fell to the ground, court papers state.

The victim’s mother, Danielle Overman, said one of the assailants stole her son’s iPod touch and his hat during the attack. Overman said she and the rest of her family – her husband, the 15-year-old son and their two other children, a 13-year-old daughter and an 11-month-old son – had spent one day at the resort when the attack occurred. The family drove north from the Portland area to visit the water park, she said.

Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel and indoor water park owned by the Chehalis Confederated Tribes. The lodge is between Interstate 5 and Old Highway 99.

“It’s advertised as safe family fun,” Overman said. “It’s not safe, it’s really not.”

Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jim Powers said Monday that judging from the police reports he has read, it appears that the two adult suspects, Colin and Garcia-Rameriz, were loitering in the lobby area.

According to court papers, “Emilio had seen (the 15-year-old) walking around while using his iTouch and Emilio said he wanted it. German said Emilio planned to take it (from him) and German and (the juvenile suspect) agreed to be part of the plan.”

Overman said she is going to write a letter to Great Wolf Lodge suggesting they improve security in the lobby area. She said that judging from what she knows of her son’s assault, nonguests of the resort can loiter in the area with no repercussions.

“The only thing I want to do is make it a safer establishment,” she said.

Officials at Great Wolf Lodge could not be reached for comment Monday.

Overman said her son suffered a bloody nose, bruises to his face and a split lip, but “he’s going to be fine.”

The 15-year-old chased one of his assailants to a nearby pawn shop after the attack, and an employee of the pawn shop later helped sheriff’s deputies identify that suspect as German, court papers state.

Colin and German pleaded not guilty to first-degree robbery during their arraignments in Thurston County Superior Court on July 26. Colin, who has no prior arrest history, was released from jail after posting bail July 15.

German was being held at the Thurston County Jail on Monday on a detainer by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. German was born in Mexico and moved to the United States when he was 1 year old, court papers state.

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