SAN ANTONIO -- Sergeant Stephen Jackel proudly served this country. The Purple Heart recipient lost both his legs in Afghanistan in 2011, so now, he enjoys every moment of his life to its fullest.
Jackel said when he took his 14-year-old daughter to Six Flags Fiesta Texas on Wednesday, he ran into an obstacle on the "Boomerang" ride.
“(The Six Flags employee) specifically told me you cannot ride this ride without having one functional leg and one functional arm,” said Jackel. "And that was devastating to me."
The park said its policy is in place to ensure everyone’s safety. But Jackel, who was wearing shorts, said multiple park employees failed to tell him the policy from the moment he got his tickets at the front gate. He had no idea about the rule until he was finally on the ride.
“I would’ve walked away and took my daughter a long time ago, since I’ve been dealing with this all day. I would’ve went somewhere where my disability -- my physical challenge rather -- is not an issue,” explained Jackel.
Jackel said, to make matters worse, park employees would only offer him complementary tickets for another day -- something that he considers useless if he can’t enjoy all the rides.
“It got so frustrating that I broke down in front of my daughter and cried,” said Jackel.
KENS 5 reached out to Six Flags and we received the following response:
“As a first option, we do offer our guests the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the day and the attractions they are able to experience, and in addition, offer complementary tickets to also visit on another day, now that they know which attractions they may ride. If our guests do not find that option acceptable, then our team can offer a full refund.
We will make sure our new team members are aware of all of these service recovery options so we can continue to take care of our guests.”
KENS 5 was told Six Flags staff would be reaching out to Jackel to refund his money. The amusement park recomends that guests with special needs visit their website to review policies before arriving at the park.