Disney Employees Among 13 Arrested In Child Predator Bust

Walt Disney World sign spanning a Florida highway
Jerome Labouyrie / Shutterstock

A cook at a Disney resort and a food runner at a Disney restaurant are among 13 men that were arrested as part of an undercover child predator operation by the Polk County Sherriff Office (PCSO) in Florida. According to local station WPTV, all but one of the men were headed to meet with children between the ages of 13 and 14 but were greeted by undercover detectives instead.

The PCSO said that many of the suspects came prepared with condoms and lubricants, while one man also brought male enhancement pills, sex toys, and an iPhone 8 Plus, which he intended to give to the minor as a gift.

The men ranged in ages from 20 to 50 and included a man who was HIV positive and looking to have unprotected sex, a man previously arrested for obscene communication with a minor, a truck driver, and a former military police officer.

Davenport, Florida-based Robert Grassano-Mazeika, 22, was among the men arrested. He works at Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel as a cook. Timo Townsend, 24, of Davenport, Florida was also arrested. He works as a food runner at The Boathouse Restaurant at Disney Springs.

“These predators are out there, trying to sexually seduce and violate children. They lurk in chat rooms and online, ready to groom children for sex. Fortunately, because of the great work of our detectives, at least 13 of them won’t be doing that any time soon. The things that these predators say to children they believe are 13 and 14 are vile and disgusting. Even seasoned, trained detectives are repulsed. The bottom line is that these predators need to be locked up and kept away from children,” Sheriff Grady Judd said.

The men face 58 charges, 57 of which are felonies, including attempted uninformed HIV-infected sexual intercourse, traveling to meet a minor for the purpose of sex, attempted lewd and lascivious molestation, attempted lewd battery, and transmitting material harmful to a minor.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives spent six days undercover between October 2 and October 4, ending the operation on Sunday evening. The detectives pretended to be underage girls and boys on various online dating sites and social media platforms. All of the men arrested spoke with and solicited sex acts from the undercover detectives.

Sheriff Grady Judd spoke to the media about the arrests, saying that all of the men involved “did very ugly, very nasty, very vile things.” He re-affirmed the department’s dedication to identifying and stopping child predators within the state.