Clint Bench, man born without hands, suing Six Flags after being asked to exit Aquaman ride
Clint Bench was born with with a congenital deformity that prevented his arms from fully forming. That didn’t stop him from going to college, getting married, having children or from riding roller coasters at Six Flags Over Texas.
He’s ridden the other rides at the park: Batman, the Texas Giant, the Flashback and his limbs had never been an issue.
Bench can do pullups, fire a gun and go mountain biking, but last May he got on the Aquaman Splashdown ride, a Six Flags standby in which a boat plummets down a two-story decline before sending up a wall of water that soaks riders and the onlookers on the bridge below.
There’s nothing particularly dangerous about Aquaman compared with the amusement park’s other attractions, certainly nothing Bench couldn’t handle, but nevertheless, a Six Flag employee asked Bench to get off the ride because of his lack of hands.
“She told him that he could not ride Aquaman because he does not have hands,” the man said in a lawsuit filed Thursday. “This caused [him] considerable embarrassment, as his children had never seen anybody discriminate against him due to his lack of natural hands.”
He complained to management and was told that it’s park policy that riders “must have at least one fully formed arm all the way down to the fingers.”
The policy at that time just said that a rider had to be able to grasp, which the man can do. The new policy reportedly wasn’t published until four months later.
Bench claims discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Six Flags doesn’t, after all, kick people off rides who, “for extra thrill or in a silly display of bravado,” keep their hands in the air.
Bench is asking for unspecified damages for suffering and mental anguish.