Walt Disney World calls itself the “most magical place on Earth,” but one visiting fugitive must’ve felt cursed when his trip to the resort ended in a stroke of mind-blowing bad luck last month.
Quashon Burton, 31, from New York had been on the run from the law since November 2021. United States Postal Inspection Service officers tried to arrest him over an alleged identity theft scheme used to steal around $150,000 of federal COVID loans, but he wasn’t at his Brooklyn home. Burton’s mother informed the officers that her son “would not be self-surrendering,” federal court documents say.
Federal postal inspector Jeff Andre, who signed the complaint against Burton, wrote that Burton had built a “complex web of identities that made his crimes difficult to investigate.” “He has clearly demonstrated an ability to mask his true identity to evade law enforcement. So too has he demonstrated a willingness to lie about this identity to avoid arrest.”
Fast-forward to Oct. 20 and Andre is on vacation at Disney World in Florida. At around 3:05 p.m. in the resort’s Animal Kingdom, Andre spotted Burton, recognizing the fugitive by a distinctive “H” tattoo on his neck.
Andre then alerted the Orange County Sheriff’s Office that a fugitive was in the park. Security staff at the resort tracked Burton before a deputy arrived to find him waiting at a bus stop outside the Animal Kingdom with two family members, the sheriff’s office report says.
“I advised Quashon that I needed to speak with him about the possible suspicious activity he was involved in, and he questioned why he needed to provide his identification,” the deputy’s report says. “Later, I advised him he was the subject of a warrant, and when I attempted to secure him, he began tensing up and bracing his arms. I informed him multiple times to place his hands behind his back, but he refused.”
The deputy says he ultimately took Burton “to the ground” during the arrest. They added that Burton was charged with resisting an officer without violence over the encounter. Federal documents also state that Burton was visiting the park under a fake name and refused to acknowledge his true identity even even after fingerprints proved he was Quashon Burton.
He was taken to Orange County Jail before being handed into federal custody.
On Oct. 27, a detention hearing in the Middle District of Florida ruled that Burton could be released as long as he underwent pretrial supervision in New York and was subject to GPS monitoring. But New York federal prosecutors opposed the decision, calling Burton “an extreme flight risk” who should remain in custody.
On Thursday, Judge Lewis Kaplan from the Southern District of New York ruled that Burton should not be freed on bail ahead of his trial.