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Man arrested at Disney after allegedly refusing temperature check, said he paid $15K for trip

The man said he would have “happily” consented to a screening but walked into the restaurant through an exit, and didn't realize his mistake.
Credit: AP
In this Saturday, July 11, 2020, file photo, guests wear masks as required to attend the official reopening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

It's home to "the happiest place on earth," but one Disney World resort guest in Florida wasn't smiling when he was reportedly arrested for refusing a coronavirus temperature screening at a restaurant. 

“I paid $15,000,” Kelly Sills is heard saying in body camera video obtained from the Orange County Sheriff's Office by the Washington Post and the Orlando Sentinel. “You can’t trespass me if I paid $15,000.”

The 47-year-old was confronted by police outside The Boathouse restaurant in Disney Springs. After allegedly intentionally skipping the temperature screening, he is said to have refused to go back through, and later refused to leave the property when asked by security and the sheriff's office, according to the police report obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

Sills told The Washington Post on Saturday that he would have “happily” consented to a screening but walked into the restaurant through an exit and didn't realize his mistake. He criticized a manager for escalating the conflict and compared Disney security to Nazis and the mafia, the newspaper reported

“COVID is a very serious thing, but so is my vacation with my family,” Sills said.

Sills’ attorney declined to comment, The Orlando Sentinel reported on Thursday.

Sills, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana resident, was then arrested and taken to a local jail for trespassing. The incident, which happened on Feb. 13, is surfacing now because video footage of it was released this week.

According to a report from WBRZ, Sills owns Coastal Bridge, a Baton Rouge contractor that defaulted on a number of state projects. According to the Baton Rouge TV station's report, Sills' company allegedly owes Louisiana State Police $880,000 for a 24/7 traffic detail on a bridge project. An employee who had to have his leg amputated told WBRZ he found out he didn't have health insurance because Sills didn't pay the premium. 

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Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Guests wear required face masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic on Main Street, U.S.A. in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Sills is only the latest person arrested for refusing to follow Disney's health rules. Also in February, a man spat on a security guard after being asked to wear a mask and was charged with battery.

Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said most guests have followed the rules, which enabled Disney World to reopen in the pandemic.

“Millions of guests visit our theme parks each year, and in rare instances when things of this nature occur, we hold them accountable,” Finger said in the statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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