Every year, there are thousands upon thousands of guests who head to Central Florida and visit Universal Orlando to have a good time during the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, things became very scary for one family who visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter just wanting to have fun. During their visit to Islands of Adventure, a man from Illinois attempted to kidnap a 9-year-old girl who was in the parks with her family.
According to Fox News, 23-year-old Jason Mikel, of Minooka, Illinois, went to Universal Studios on Sunday, December 30, 2018, and headed to the Harry Potter section of the park. While there, he approached a 9-year-old girl who was in the locker area of the attraction called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
While in the locker area, which can get extremely crowded, Mikel reportedly touched the girl on the shoulders and began talking to her. He let her know that her mother was outside and that she was supposed to go out there and meet her.
Almost immediately, the girl became frightened and ran away from Mikel to find her mother. He approached her in the small amount of time that the mother had lost sight of her daughter, and that was when he spoke with the girl.
Jason Mikel wasn’t immediately arrested, but police began speaking to the girl and her mother as well as witnesses in the area. One witness told police that he overheard Mikel tell the girl that her “mommy was over here.”
Once the girl escaped from the locker room area of the Harry Potter attraction and got away from Mikel, the witness went and spoke to her mother. The witness let the girl’s mother know what happened and she admitted that neither she nor her daughter knew the suspect.
The Orange County Police Department arrived shortly after the incident happened and placed Mikel under arrest. An arrest affidavit from police detailed the situation at Universal Orlando.
“A man touched her on the shoulder and told her to go outside and her mother was outside. She (the daughter) got scared and was able to get away from him and return to her mother.”
As soon as the witness spoke to the girl’s mother, Mikel attempted to flee the area, but Universal Orlando employees grabbed him. The employees detained him until police arrived to arrest him and charge him with battery and possession of marijuana.
Jason Mikel was booked into the Orange County jail and is being held without bail. A court hearing last Monday had public defenders stating that there was not enough offense to support the kidnapping charge. Luckily, the young girl was able to get out of the situation unharmed and leave The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort with her family.