ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Clint Bench looks through some pictures pointing out ones where he’s water skiing and firing a gun. He says he loves to be active, “Mountain biking I love,” says Bench. “My son is a Scout; I’m a Scout Master.”
The father of two from Weatherford was born without hands and says he has never let his disability get in the way.
“I was born this way,” says Bench. “My disability — that’s the only thing I’ve ever known.”
Over the summer, Bench was shocked when he got kicked off the Aquaman Splashdown at Six Flags in Arlington.
“Went to the park in March and had a good time, rode everything I wanted to ride,” says Bench.
He’s been to Six Flags dozens of times and ridden the ride many times before, but he was told in May, because he has no hands, he couldn’t get on the ride.
“I knew that I can and I knew that I have,” says Bench.
Bench went to guest services and tried to talk to someone at Six Flags, but he’s never even gotten an apology. Now he’s suing Six Flags for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“One of the things that is the most upsetting to us is that for the first time in his life, especially in his experiences at Six Flags, they call him out in front of his kids,” says attorney Levi McCathern. “And say your father is not the same as everybody else.”
McCathern says after Bench complained, Six Flags changed its policy for the ride to mandate all riders have “one full arm and one full leg.”
“We repeatedly offered to resolve this with Six Flags for not a dollar. Clint was absolutely adamant when he came to me that this was not about him getting a dollar,” says McCathern. “Unfortunately we are in a position now where we will seek some money to cover the cost and expenses of the lawsuit.”
More than anything, Bench says he just wants to get a message out, “That this doesn’t happen again. That the next time to set a precedent that there is a better solution than what’s in place now,” says Bench.
Bench and his attorney wonder if there are any others who have been discriminated against at Six Flags.
Sharon Parker with Six Flags says no comments are being made on the lawsuit because it’s pending.
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