A man was arrested after he allegedly hit a Walt Disney World security guard and threatened to kill him over the theme park’s new mask policy amid the Covid-19 pandemic. An Orange County Sheriff’s Office incident report obtained by People shed light on the August 14 incident at Disney World’s Epcot Center that led to a charge of misdemeanor battery against 35-year-old Enrico Toro.
“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,” a Disney spokesperson told the outlet.
According to the report, Todd, his wife, and three children were turned away at the park’s check-in because their masks did not meet safety guidelines. According to Disney World’s website, all guests over the age of 2 are required to wear face-covering at all times except while eating or swimming.
“Additionally, face coverings worn in the parks must have at least two layers of breathable material, fully cover the wearer’s nose and mouth and secure under the chin, fit snugly, and be secured with ties or ear loops in order to remain hands-free,” according to People. “Face coverings like bandanas or neck gaiters are not allowed. All guests are also required to adhere to social distancing guidelines while in the parks.” Moreover, there is also a mask mandate in Orange County, Florida, that requires faces to be aptly covered at public places.
According to the report, the family went to their car to get masks. However, the security guard noticed one of the children’s masks still did not meet requirements and thereby did not allow the family inside the park. Toro said in his statement to police that the security guard told him to “f*** off.” On the other hand, the 29-year-old security guard claimed that Toro began “cussing and saying, ‘call the police, they will have to shoot me to leave’,” per the report.
The guard then proceeded to reach his waist to grab his phone and call a supervisor, which is when Toro allegedly “struck him with an open hand across his head.” His wife tried to intervene and stop the altercation, but Toro “continued cussing” at the security guard and “began threatening that he knew where he lived and was going to kill him.”
Toro’s wife eventually “got him to walk away towards the parking lot,” per the report. The security guard told police he wasn’t injured in the altercation, which was witnessed by three bystanders who said they, too, saw Toro strike the man.
Disney World faced pushback as they reopened on July 11 amid the pandemic. However, it will be operational for reduced hours from September 8 owing to lower-than-expected turnout at the park. Nonetheless, the media giant announced a series of health and safety protocols that went into effect with the park’s reopening. Aside from mandatory masks and social distancing, Disney also requires “visitors to make reservations for each park online prior to admission, significantly lowering the number of guests allowed in, and reducing capacity on rides, various modes of transportation and in restaurants and retail stores,” according to People.