Panic at Disney World: False Reports of Shooting Sends ‘Wave’ of Crowds Stampeding for Safety

Crowds spending Christmas night at Downtown Disney stampeded to safety after false reports of a shooting.

A reported altercation at a restaurant led some to believe that shots had been fired — a rumor quickly dispelled by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

- Advertisement -

Nevertheless, in the moment, crowds panicked and ran for their lives.

Police said no shots were fired as was initially rumored. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said instead that several people on the second floor of Bongo’s restaurant were involved in a fistfight.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department said that Luis Antonio Ojedareyes, 70, of Georgetown, Florida, was upset that his meal was taking so long. Managers apologized for the delay stating that since it was Christmas the restaurant we extremely busy. Luis used coarse language at the manager and took a swing at him then grabbed the arm of an employee of the restaurant.

See also  Walt Disney World's Top 9 Recommended Disney Planner Books

The manager and employees escorted Luis out of the restaurant.

An arrest affidavit shows he was charged with battery.

Bongo’s Cuban Café released the following statement:

“It was an unfortunate situation caused by an unruly customer seated on our second floor terrace. His behavior resulted in him being removed from the restaurant and arrested. Bongos management took every precaution to ensure the safety of all our guests during the disturbance..

Unfortunately, some of our guests seated on the first floor heard rumble and loud noises from the floor above them. Some ran out of our restaurant ,and incorrectly reported the sounds they heard as gun fire.

There was neither gun fire nor any level of a fight at Bongos. There was an unruly guest who had to be removed, and arrested. His behavior triggered the issues experienced at Disney Springs last night.”

Patrons at Disney Springs on Friday night called it a scary scene, initially believing they had heard gunshots.

Some people on social media reported they ran for their lives, comparing it to a stampede. A few of the guests were trampled over by people running to the parking garage.

See also  Walt Disney World's Top 9 Recommended Disney Planner Books

Helicopters could be heard overhead, and businesses were put on lockdown, with no one allowed into or out of the restaurants and shops.

Luis bonded out of jail at 4:43 a.m. Saturday. His bond was set at $500.

All restaurants and shoppes at Disney Springs were re-opened shortly after the incident ended.

Comments is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. Some links may be affiliate links. We may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these.