EUREKA (KMOV) - A woman says she was kicked off a ride at Six Flags Saturday night because of an apparent disability even though she says is it’s a ride she’s ridden dozens of times.
“I don't consider myself handicap, I never have,” Cheryl Prentice said.
Prentice lost the fingers on her right hand in an accident in 1989 but she's never let it get in the way of living her life, especially of her love for roller coasters.
“I think we've been to Six Flags at least 5 times this year,” she explained.
A season ticket holder, she and her family went to Fright Fest Saturday night to celebrate their daughter’s birthday, and headed for one of their favorite rides, Mr. Freeze. She said she’s ridden it countless times with no problem, that is, until last night.
We waited in line and we finally got up to the top, I got all belted in and they were coming around to make sure you’re secured which is good, so I held out my hand like this. The manager came over and said we can’t allow you to ride this ride for safety issues,” she said.
Theme park’s spokesperson Elizabeth Gotway said “the safety of our guests is our top priority and guests with certain disabilities are prohibited from riding certain rides and attractions.”
On Six Flags’ website, the requirements for Mr. Freeze read “Riders must possess two (2) functioning arms absent of prosthetic devices and two (2) functioning legs absent of prosthetic devices.” It goes on to specify, “A functioning arm is a full arm with the ability to be flexed at the elbow and a minimum of three full fingers with the ability to hold on with a firm grip.”
“Every ride, I hold it with my whole arm,” Prentice explained.
Six Flags said there is a sign in front of Mr. Freeze clearly outlining the requirements.
“The rider policies are reviewed and adjusted from time to time to ensure we continue to accommodate the needs of our guests while simultaneously maintaining a safe environment for all guests. The safety restraints on Mr. Freeze were changed many years ago and therefore the rider requirements may have changed,” Gotway said in an email.
Regardless, Prentice said she just wants to know why this time the policy was enforced, and why it was handled the way it was.
“When he did that in front of everybody it made me feel like I was handicapped and it just hit me,” Prentice said fighting back tears. “I just have never considered myself handicapped and he made me feel that way.”