It's called "The Happiest Place on Earth" — but one man's actions left vacationers at Disney World understandably frightened, police say.
Police arrested 22-year-old Dillion Burch just after midnight on Monday after they say he went up to people at Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida, and knowingly lied about the hotel being on lockdown because there was an active shooter inside. According to a police report obtained by WKMG, Burch told a worker at the hotel's front desk that he was doing the prank for a YouTube video.
Burch, who was "highly intoxicated," urged people at the hotel to evacuate immediately — leading to an actual lockdown because of the "significant disturbance," police told the Orlando Sentinel. The Arizona man would eventually admit that he was lying, police say, and that it was all just an experiment for a school project.
A manager at the hotel told the man he couldn't do the scary prank — and that police were on their way, WKMG reported. He left the hotel lobby and then ran into a parking lot after seeing law enforcement, police say, and was later found hiding in the bushes.
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Police say they found a beer in his backpack, according to WKMG. He has since been banned from Disney World.
He was charged with disturbing the peace and disorderly intoxication charges, WESH reported. He pleaded no contest to the charges on Tuesday and received three days in jail.
It's not the first time someone has falsely tried to convince others of an active shooter for a prank. Earlier this month, students at Bowie High School in Maryland wore black masks to cover their faces and armed themselves with water guns and fireworks to fake a school shooting.
They set off fireworks and sprayed students as a part of the senior prank, the school's principal wrote to parents. One girl said she was squirted with vinegar.
John Nesky, Bowie's chief of police, told The Kansas City Star that the school will decide whether to press any charges.
He called the fake shooting "extremely ill-advised."
"It was very reckless," he said "There could have been some very bad consequences that unfolded. Luckily nothing like that happened.”