ORLANDO, FL - May 4, 2020 - According to an online news report published on WCHSTV.com, a man was arrested for attempting to self-quarantine on Disney's Discovery Island this past Thursday. The 42-year-old suspect told Orange County Sheriff's deputies that living there was a "tropical paradise." The arrest report states that the suspect told law enforcement that he had been living on the island for a few days. The suspect also stated that he intended to camp on the island for a week. The man stated that he didn't know the sheriff's department was looking for him because he was sleeping inside of a build on the island.
The arrest report noted that the Orange County Sheriff's deputies conducted searches for the man by boat, air, and on foot. The suspect told the sheriff's deputies that he was unaware that the island was a restricted area. The news report states that the island has a high number of "no trespassing" signs posted around the island. The suspect denied seeing or ignoring any "no trespassing" signs and that he thought the island was a tropical paradise. The Orange County Marine deputies who operate on Bay Lake noted in the arrest record that they used a public address system to tell the trespasser that he is not allowed to be on the island. The report alleges the suspect remained on the island regardless of the legal mandate to leave the private property.
A Disney security guard stated to the Orange County Sheriff's deputies that she witnessed the suspect stealing the company's boat on Thursday. The Disney security guard explained to law enforcement that the area the man entered had two locked gates and also displayed numerous "no trespassing" signs. She asked the Orange County Sheriff's deputies to place the suspect under arrest and charge him. The suspect did not resist arrest, and he was charged with a trespassing charge. The island has been closed to the public for nearly 20 years. The island was once called Treasure Island.
Florida Statute §810.08 - Trespass in Structure or Conveyance
According to Florida Statute §810.08, someone has committed the offense of trespass, when he or she, without permission or authorization, enters or will not leave any conveyance or structure, and refuses to leave when told to do so by the property lessee or owner. Typically, a trespassing charge is a misdemeanor. A second-degree misdemeanor trespassing charge, if found guilty, is punishable with up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. However, the facts and circumstances of the arrest could escalate the charges to a felony charge. For example, if the defendant is caught carrying a weapon while trespassing, the defendant could face a felony in the third-degree. The punishments for a third-degree felony charge include up to (5) five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.