A Florida man has been charged with a misdemeanor following an incident in which he allegedly punched a Walt Disney World cast member after being told to wear a mask, The Orlando Sentinel reported. This is the first known crime of this nature to have taken place at the Central Florida resort.
Orange County police say that on August 14, Enrico Toro, 35, of Orlando, showed up at Epcot with his wife and three children wearing “improper masks,” according to the victim, a 29-year-old security guard. The guard told the family that they could not enter without approved face coverings. Later, the family returned, but with one of their children still wearing an unapproved mask.
When told again that the family would not be allowed in without proper masks, Toro allegedly became verbally abusive toward the security guard.
“Call the police. They will have to shoot me to leave,” he reportedly said.
The employee reached for his phone to notify a supervisor of the escalating situation when Toro allegedly slapped the guard’s head with an “open hand,” according to police. Toro’s wife intervened and pushed her husband away from the security guard. However, Toro allegedly continued cursing, and allegedly threatened to kill the security guard and told him he knew where he lived.
Eventually, the alleged assailant’s wife managed to convince him to leave, and the couple made their way back to their vehicle before backup could arrive. However, police were able to identify the alleged attacker, and the security guard said that he intended to press charges.
Toro, for his part, claimed in his arrest report that the security guard had sworn at him and that nothing else had happened.
He has been charged with misdemeanor battery, according to Orange County Circuit Court records.
In a statement, Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said that it was regrettable that law enforcement had to become involved in a matter involving a guest and a cast member.
“We expect guests to treat our cast members with courtesy and respect, and while the vast majority of guests have adapted to our new measures, this unfortunate case required law enforcement,” she said.
This appears to be the first time that a guest at a Central Florida theme park has assaulted an employee over a mask dispute.
However, in another mask-related incident in another state, an employee was seriously injured by an angry customer. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, New York City man Troy McCoy allegedly assaulted an employee at Pennsylvania’s Sesame Street-themed Sesame Place park, leaving the teenager with severe injuries.