Orlando man charged with hitting a Disney security guard during fight over COVID-19 mask rule

From Orlando Sentinel

An Orlando man struck an Epcot security guard when he was reminded to follow the theme park’s mask rules, an Orange County sheriff’s report says, the first known crime report involving such a confrontation at Disney World.

Enrico Toro, 35, is accused of hitting the guard in the head and threatening to kill him, which led to Toro’s arrest Aug. 14, the arrest affidavit said.

He is charged with misdemeanor battery and doesn’t have an attorney listed, Orange Circuit Court records show.

“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,” Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said in a statement.

Toro did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday but gave his version of events to authorities in the arrest report. He said the security guard swore at him and they got into an argument but denied anything else happened.

Three witnesses observed the altercation and said they saw Toro become “irate,” use profanity and hit the guard, the report noted.

Orange County spokeswoman Despina McLaughlin said officials weren’t aware of any other violent incidents stemming from people refusing to wear masks in the county. Orange Mayor Jerry Demings signed an executive order requiring all people to wear masks in public places.

At about 4:40 p.m. Aug. 14, Toro, his wife and three children arrived at Epcot security wearing “improper masks,” the 29-year-old security guard recounted to the sheriff’s office in the arrest affidavit.

The family returned to the car and came back to the front of Epcot a second time, but one child still wore a mask that didn’t fit Disney’s rules.

Toro “began cussing” and said, “Call the police. They will have to shoot me to leave,” the arrest report said.

The security guard reached for his phone to notify a security supervisor of the escalating situation when Toro struck the guard’s head with an “open hand,” the report said.

Toro’s wife intervened and pushed her husband away from the security guard.

“The male continued cussing at (the security guard) and began threatening that he knew where he lived and was going to kill him,” the arrest report said.

Toro’s wife finally convinced her husband to walk away and they left toward the parking lot.

The security guard, who wasn’t injured, contacted his supervisor and sheriff’s deputies on Disney property were called to the scene.

The security guard said he was willing to press charges, and Toro was arrested, the report said.

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