Water Park Checks on Workers Criminal Search Follows 2 Arrests

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Byline: Caren Burmeister, Times-Union staff writer

Adventure Landing officials are having criminal background checks conducted on all their employees across the country since two staff members at the Jacksonville Beach water park were arrested on sexual assault charges in the last two weeks.

The two men, a lifeguard arrested May 28 and a go-cart track worker arrested Monday, have been fired from the water park at 1944 Beach Blvd., a spokesman said.

Adventure Landing started the background checks after the first arrest, said Randy Levinson, chairman of Adventure Entertainment Corp., that owns the park. The process had hardly begun when the second man was arrested, he said.

"We're doing this to show the Jacksonville community that we take our core values of safety extremely seriously," Levinson said. "This is setting a new standard in the industry."

Richard Brandon Thompson, 18, of Jacksonville is accused of molesting a 17-year-old girl in the Adventure Landing parking lot. He met the girl while he was working as a lifeguard, a job he accepted three weeks ago.

The girl told Jacksonville Beach police they were kissing in his car when he locked the doors, restrained her, bit her breast and grabbed her inappropriately. …