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California family of teen with disability says he shouldn’t have been removed from Six Flags Magic Mountain West Coast Racers ride


LOS ANGELES — A local teen says he was removed from a ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California because of a disability, and he and his family want answers.

Seventeen-year-old Ryder Gonzalez is like any other fun-loving teen.

He was a Little League pitcher in the city of Commerce, California. He boxes. He plays basketball.

Gonzalez was born with one hand and is deaf. Yet, his family says he functions better than a lot of people with two hands and with hearing.

That’s why a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain on Sunday left him devastated, when his family says he was told he could not ride the West Coast Racers roller coaster because of his disability.

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He had already been strapped into the ride when a park employee told him he could not continue because of policy concerns.

“She was very dismissive, and kept saying it’s policy; it’s policy,” said Raul Gonzalez, Ryder’s father. “It was more humiliating for him because he was allowed to board the ride and then pulled off.”

James Gonzalez says his brother was mad that he was kicked off the ride because he was really looking forward to it.

Ryder’s mother Annie Gonzalez says her son has been to several theme parks, including Disneyland, and never had an issue, until he visited Six Flags Magic Mountain for the first time Sunday.

“I want people to know Ryder’s story,” she said. “I want people to know what happened.”

Six Flags Magic Mountain issued a statement:

“Six Flags has designed and developed a special safety harness for 98% of our theme park rides to better accommodate the needs of guests with certain disabilities. With all requirements met, riders who do not meet certain extremity requirements may be able to ride utilizing the full body harness. Guests can visit Guest Relations while inside the park.”

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