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Man’s nightmare day at Thorpe Park

THORPE PARK: Scene of the incident

A CARE worker attacked by security guards and thrown into a cell for ten hours after a trip to Thorpe Park turned nasty, has pressed charges over his brutal treatment.

Father-of-two Michael Orlebar, of Croydon, claims he was was paraded through the Surrey amusement park in handcuffs on August 15, after he defended a 13-year-old set upon by security guards.


Orlebar said he witnessed up to six grown men force the schoolboy he was chaperoning to the ground with their hands around his throat after getting into a row.

When the 31-year-old intervened, he was grabbed from behind and had his face pushed against the pavement while another guard pressed a knee into his back.

Furious at the treatment, Orlebar insisted that the police were called.

But when officers from Surrey police arrived, despite Orlebar’s attempts to share his side of the story he alleges he was referred to as “boy” and told to “save it for the tape.”

He was then hauled into custody.

ANGER: Michael Orlebar says he’s pursuing his case to set an example to youngsters about how to settle disputes

Orlebar, employed by a private youth social care organisation, said: “I teach young people to show respect to the authorities and that situations can be solved through communication and not violence. How do I explain this type of behaviour? Is it any wonder that some young people have no respect for anyone in a uniform? They abuse their power and are so blinded by their own prejudices they cannot treat people fairly. The only thing I could have done to be more accommodating was to kiss their hands and I still ended up in a police cell.”

Orlebar, who has been signed off from work for two weeks because of his injuries, had taken three young people in care to Thorpe Park as a birthday treat.

The trouble started as the boys Orlebar was looking after left a gift shop. A security guard accused one of the young men of stealing a rubber ball which Orlebar claims was completely unfounded.

He said the teenager was simply returning the ball after it had fallen off its display stand near the exit.

Orlebar stepped in to diffuse the situation and the group was let off with a warning that if they caused any more trouble they would be kicked out.

Shortly afterwards, they were stopped again by the same security guard who accused the 13-year-old of “saying something to him” and demanded that they leave Thorpe Park.

Not wanting any further trouble, Orlebar reluctantly agreed, but things kicked off when the 13-year-old asked the security guard why they were being punished when they hadn’t done anything wrong.


It was at this point, Orlebar alleges, that the youth was grabbed and wrestled to the floor with unnecessary force.

A spokesman for Thorpe Park, who employ the security guards, said: “We are aware of this incident and are concerned about what has happened. A full investigation is underway and appropriate action will be taken where necessary.”

Orlebar was arrested at 4.10pm but was not released until 2.15am in the morning and despite showing signs of injury from Thorpe Park, he claims he was denied medical assistance at Staines police station.

The care worker however says that police have since apologised to him about the arrest and are helping him bring charges against the Thorpe Park security staff.

He said: “The only reason I am going public with this is that too often black people are unfairly treated and keep it to themselves. We need to understand the system and know our rights. I have a responsibility to set an example to the young people I work with that you have to stand up for yourself in the right way. ”

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