Tuesday, February 21, 2012

America at its worst

You've probably read - if not seen the video - about this drunken guy at Disney's California Adventure punching in the face twice a DCA cast member while he is repeatedly pepper-sprayed by the CM! If not, you can watch it below. All this happened Feb 20, in front of the Tower of Terror entrance. Other guests can be seen/heard shouting or laughing at the guy and eventually pinned the man to the ground, while the man was heard saying: “Let go. You’re gonna kill me.”

Everything is ugly in this four minutes scene and if you ask me what i think about it, here it is: i think that everyone is pathetic in that scene: the drunken guy of course, but also the DCA CM who pepper sprayed the guy repeatedly, the guests who are either laughing at the man or shouting "we're at Disneyland!" (when, by the way, they are at DCA!) and the guys who finally pinned the guy to the ground, almost suffocating him.

The main problem in that scene is that we don't know how it all began. Chances are that the drunk guy was a bit too drunk for the DCA CM who asked him to move and of course the guy began to get angry, etc... But i doubt he was a danger for anyone, what i think is that the CM wanted him to move away because, precisely, "hey, we're at Disneyland, and we don't want any drunk guy in the park". No one obviously tried to understand how the story started, who was responsible, etc... No, it was more just like "a drunk guy must not be at Disneyland, let's throw him out of here, and if possible let's put him in jail!". Everything in the scene is absolutely disgusting because all what happened, all the reactions were reactionary, there is not one ounce of intelligence or humanity from anyone. Sorry, but for me it's America at its worst.

Edited 22 / 2: Considering the comments below, it seems that some explanations are needed. So, no, i have of course nothing against americans. And yes, that scene could have happened in France, or in a lot of other countries in the world. And my title would have been the same, i.e "France at its worst" or "England at its worst" if it had happened in England, etc...That said, when i see people laughing at a drunk guy on the ground while he is pepper sprayed, i'm sorry, but i don't find this kind of reaction very healthy. Same when i see six guys against one, etc...

Edited 22 / 2: Thanks to Al Lutz, we know now the full story of what really happened and you can read the complete story HERE. What is interesting is how the incident started, and from the infos that Al got "The disgruntled park guest, who reeked of alcohol, was in the park alone on Saturday. He had received a Guest Assistance Card (GAC) for a disability from the Guest Relations desk, but he had received a lesser stamp on his pass that didn’t allow him immediate boarding at DCA’s fully accessible queues and attractions. When the man tried to use his GAC at Tower of Terror, the Cast Member at the gate told him that the queue was fully accessible and that he would need to enter the lengthy Standby line or get a Fastpass and return later. The message that he needed to wait in line, even with his GAC, set him off and he began using profanity and demanding to be let on the ride immediately. The Attraction Lead was summoned to the front gate to help, and the Lead had the same problem calming the man down, and it was the Lead who called for Security to respond."

So, if i understand well, the drunken guest has received a Guest Assistance Card for a disability and the TOT CM refused to allow him immediate boarding because of a lesser stamp on the card, and it's there that the perfect storm began. This is also the perfect kafkaïan situation where everything goes havoc because of bureaucraty rules. I can understand that DL/DCA rules must be the same for everyone but, knowing that the guy had a GAC for disabilty and that he was also a bit too drunk i wonder if the best in this kind of situation wouldn't have been to let him go in immediate boarding instead to finally have this ugly scene in the middle of DCA and DL execs to began their week in "damage control mode".

Finally, among the comments on Youtube ( apparently everybody hate the lady yelling in the background! ) here is probably the best one - ri remind you that the incident took place in front of the Tower of Terror entrance:

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination, Beyond it is another dimension, a dimension of that annoying bitch, a dimension of a Drunk, a dimension of Humiliation. You're moving Into a land of both Disgrace and Stupidity, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone!".

And if we have a closer look at this incident it's interesting to note that all this happened at the entrance of the TOT attraction, because the whole story looks like a Twilight Zone episode:  A poor soul with invalidity pass comes to spend a day at DCA, then gets drunk, then he is refused instant access to the ride, then gets angry, and then everyone gets crazy and fall into the "Twilight Zone". 

Seriously, the whole thing could easily be a script of a Twilight Zone episode. I'm sure some of you will see all this just as a coincidence, to what i reply: maybe, but that doesn't change the fact that it HAPPENED for real at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror entrance and not in front of the Little Mermaid ride...

Video: copyright RLIFE716


Hikari-emiru said...

Wow, I really feel sorry for that guy.
No one is with him, and He got so much pepper spray. Poor soul. drunk or not, they could have have kicked him out of the park instead of torturing him. :(
And that Girls in the background is just Annoying... A shame that DCA shall have guest like these. disgusting.

Garrett said...

The best part about your post is how you comment on the "reactionary attitudes" in the video. This is exactly what you did when you posted the headline, "America at its Worst". The video starts after Disney cast members have already started to intervene. For you to comment on his danger to others and to blame everyone but the drunk guy who is throwing punches is absurd. I used to visit this blog to see overseas theme park info. Because of your ad hominem attack I no longer will visit.

Hani El-Masri said...

The whole scene reeks of fascism, the only character missing is the Nazi boy scout breaking into song "Tomorrow belongs to me!" from Cabaret ! Sad state of affairs... It's not just America, it's Humanity at its worse.

spajadigit said...

I'm not sure I agree with anyone here.

Back in 2003, an angry man at Disneyland came very close to punching me at the entrance to Indiana Jones. His family was waiting for their children to get measured (to see if they were tall enough and they didn't look like it) and a cast member told us to go around them because they were holding up the line. So, my girlfriend and my mother moved past them, and as I started to follow, he stuck out his arm, hitting my chest, and told me in no uncertain terms I couldn't cut the line. Then he proceeded to call my girlfriend an ugly chink and my mom a whore. The cast member who told us to go around intervened, and allowed me to pass, while he called security.

My question is, what is the best way for a theme park cast member to handle a belligerent asshole?

As we left the ride, the angry father and his family were still there as three security guys stood around waiting for the police. The cast member who had intervened came over and asked me if I wanted to press charges. I didn't, but the angry dude had made me pretty angry.

If this fellow had been drunk, I think it would have been a lot worse and I might have ended up in the hospital. How do you contain that? What if he had started hitting other people too?

When things like this go down, how does anyone handle it?

As best they can, I guess

I thought it was pretty incredible the security guy in the video didn't hit back, I mean, the guy was *clearly* a threat!

Yeah, the people were annoying, the drunk guy made a spectacle of himself and a lot of the behavior wasn't stellar, but hopefully this altercation can be a teaching moment for security in how to actually deal with this kind of problem.

But fascism? Seriously? The worst in America? Seriously? You're not gonna continue reading an awesome blog because you disagree with the author a little? Seriously?

h.Emiru has it right- It's a shame that DCA happened to have a guest like this douchebag.

Hikari-emiru said...

Im very sorry to hear about you incidence, I fully understand your words of sayin.
I work in Tokyo Disneyland as decoration lead and effect manager, and I have my daily going in the parks, I never experienced happenings like these.
People should relax when going to disneyland, maybe its my little Utopia to think, but Its should be the general idea about visiting Different disney parks. A shame some people are ruin these ideas.

Garrett, im sure disneyandMore will continue to write about Disney and all what happens inside every park.
You don't turn off your television forever, just because "war of the worlds" had a bad ending, or your favorite character didn't win the talent show on channel 6 either, huh?


Tom said...

spajadigit, when you say "h.Emiru has it right- It's a shame that DCA happened to have a guest like this douchebag." She was talking about the "annoying" lady. She felt sorry for the drunk guy.

Anonymous said...

Puerile, superficial and, let's say reactionary, commentary on a difficult situation. If this is America at its worst, it is trumped by dubious, self righteous, condemnation.

Why one might shun a fantastic blog on this basis is equally puzzling... 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'

Anonymous said...

what you havent gotten and it was reported on other sites was that this guy was being abusive to guests before this video was started. you mix the alcohol and a belligerent guest together and there seems to be this attitude that they can treat others (and he was being this way to kids too according to the reports)and the use of force to detain is required. they had also tried to defuse the situation and he continued and zeroed in on the cms that were there.

wedway said...

The question I ask is this: how did a drunk person end up in the park in the first place?
Was he drunk beforehand and was allowed past the turnstiles by some oblivious cast member? That would be unacceptable, cast members working the gate should be more aware about who they permit entry to because a drunk person at the front gate would be obvious.
The other possibility would be that he got drunk within the park, which is also unacceptable. Unlike Disneyland, Disney California Adventure does sell alcohol. It would be silly to think that the cast members would continue selling alcoholic beverages to a person who is already obviously drunk. I've always been fond of the fact that Disneyland doesn't serve alcohol because it brings all family members to an equal level, age barriers are eliminated. Why Disney California Adventure, as well as many other Disney parks, permits its sale is something I often question.
I think we can all agree that a Disney theme park is no place for alcohol abuse and this event shouldn't have been allowed to transpire in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I think the bigger problem is holding the server accountable for continuing to serve him or the main entrance Cast Member for allowing him entry. Sure people should be responsible for thier own actions however Disney has a responsibility to protect the non-drinking guest. To be honest it would not surprise me if the drunk man files a lawsuit...and wins. While working at EURO Disney SCA we dealt with the "Ziva" (spelling?)on a daily basis in some cases much worse than this man...but no tackling...no pepper spray...

What I would like to know is who is responsible for allowign the situation to escalate to that horrid display of operations management?!?

Anonymous said...

This man was so intoxicated that he was hitting a SECURITY OFFICIAL and threatening violence to other guests continually, until he was finally restrained and you feel bad for him? This is the most obsured remarks I have ever heard! I've been reading this blog for some time now and I have no way of understanding where that opinion comes from.It's unfortunate that teens will laugh at this situtation because they are kids. I'm not talking about that. But if I see another human being, threatening violence and actually being violent towards another human being, I will help that person out, even if it includes pinning someone down. If you haven't heard, (I live locally and it's been on the news), that security officer had to be taken to a hospital for head trauma. If this man was at a football game, an airport, a parade, the response would have been exactly the same. In my opinion that makes it even more acceptable at Disneyland where it is filled with young children. Because it is for the safety of other people. How far would that man needed to have gone before it would have been okay with you to restrain him? Till he pushed a kid, till he punched a kid? He was clearly punching the security officer. If my kids were in that area where he was taking swings at other people, I would have been swinging back. It took two men to hold him down, he was determined to make a scene.
My biggest complaint was the response time for back up from security. When you have a security guard with someone in that state, needing to be pepper sprayed (and I feel that he NEEDED to be peppersprayed), there should have been five or six other security guards there within a minute.

Other than that, when you decide to be publicly intoxicated, ANYWHERE for that matter, you take the consequences. If someone asks you to leave, and you are unhappy about it, and you threaten someone back physically, there will be repercussions. The rest of society knows this and that is why these events are few and far between, so why does this guy get some sympathy?

I just don't get your opinion on feeling sorry for the SOB.

Anonymous said...

"America at its Worst" is absolutely the perfect headline for this article! No need to be justified at all. Sure, such a incident could have happened of corse also in europe (and I'm sure it already happened more then once) BUT we would have handle it much more professional. And Garrett: Then stay on your side of the ocean with your ignorance. Don't you guys always proclaim that the freedom of opinion is sooooo important for you? BUT you get snappy when people speak their minds only cause you don't like it? And who cares if you read this blog or not? Nobody for sure. Your comment fits perfect to the headline: America at it's worst! Well done *LOL*

Parc-O-Rama said...

Despite the overall imaginary looks of the Disney park and the reassuring feel they work hard to provid, it's quite easy to forget that it's still real life. With real people, and real problems.

I think the use of pepper spray was not appropriate at all, but what I mean is when tough situations like this happen, you can't fix it with pixie dust. Even in a Disney park.
Many Disney fans don't seem able to deal witht that fact, assuming Disneyland shoud be a place where everything is nice, clean, kind and perfect. But it's still reality folks...

Anonymous said...

It amuses me how people who have never had to work in any kind of law enforcement immediately question the actions taken by those needing to restrain an out of control individual. Whether drunk, on cocaine or some other substance, when a person's inhibitions are compromised, their entire adrenaline flow is supercharged. This is why it takes MANY people to pin a guy down - because he's not holding back, he's not responsive to pain like you or I would in a sober condition. Condemning EVERYONE for their behavior is simplistic in the extreme and indicative of a lack of clear, discriminating thinking. GOOD for the other parkgoers who pitched in and helped pin this guy down. He was beating that poor security guard who had no backup for quite a while. The guy SHOULD have been put in jail, fingerprinted and fined. There ARE kids in that park; they don't need to hear profanities, and they don't need to be within a few feet of some out of control nutcase who can swing at them or hurt them.

Josh said...

I think the most concerning part of this, is that Disney Cast Members are allowed to carry pepper spray with them.

Working at a UK park, I know first hand that there are plenty of other ways to calm a drunk, or angry guest without having to resort to something as violent as that. You just need to have good customer service, something which appears to have gone amiss here.

Anonymous said...

So a large, drunk jerk throwing punches takes a dose of pepper-spray (the effects of which will completely disappear in a few hours), and then a few citizens risk their personal safety to restrain him until security arrives. If this is America "at its worst"... America isn't bad at all.

Kevin Crossman said...

It's a little hard to understand your point. Are you saying this man didn't pose a threat to guests - because he surely did.

Are you saying he shouldn't have been removed from the park, after spouting obscenities and assaulting several people?

Are you REALLY complaining about the woman who said "We're at Disneyland"? It is the Disneyland RESORT after all. And, jeeze, it is the most obvious shorthand version of "hey, asshole, there are kids around here and you're being a beligerant drunk."

It is unfortunate there was a scene. And it is true the guys shooting the video weren't exactly civilized in their reactions. But the true problem wasn't that the guy was drunk or some of the guests screamed things at him, it was that Disney Security didn't remove him sooner.

Why did it take three guests to sit on the guy and subdue him? Why didn't more security guards appear? Why didn't they try to subdue to drunk guy while he was down on the ground? Why didn't some male ToT cast members come to help subdue the guy?

I was in DCA that day and if I was there I would have had no problem sitting on the guy until the real police arrived to escort this jerk off the premises and hopefully to jail where he belongs.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

In a resort that receives many millions of people like Disneyland, it is almost certain that a situation like that will eventually happen.

The thing is that the response from the park security was extremely weak in my point of view. The pepper spray is not going to stop him, it just makes him angrier (in my opinion, this is something a lady should use to have the chance to run away in an attack, not a security guy). The security team should have quickly immobilized the man, with several men from the security if needed, using the least amount of violence as possible, as escorted him to the nearest police station.

It is just my opinion, but I think that Disneyland security was very amateur. If the guy was really a fighter, he would have beaten everyone there badly and no one would have stopped him. A place that receive as many people as Disneyland, should have a very professional security that knows how to quickly immobilize a belligerent guest.

erks said...

you are totally right every nearly comment on youtube agrees with you. They don't say anything nasty about the guy only about the spectators how badly they respond to the situation. The guy is clearly calming down and wiping his eyes and then all of a sudden he gets sprayed again, madness, the guard was clearly an idiot as well as the busy bodies 'helping' when really they where loving every second of being involved.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I also think that Alain has a point, and I think that it's ridiculous the attitude of some people saying that they are going to stop reading this great blog because they don't agree with him. Some people need to accept and respect different opinions!

Erks, you are totally right about that: "The guy is clearly calming down and wiping his eyes and then all of a sudden he gets sprayed again", spraying him again was really stupid! But I still think that an aggressive drunk guest should be escorted out of the park, and if he resists and attack the CM, he should be immobilized and taken to a police station.

The bottom line still is that the security team appears to be really unprepared for that kind of situation...

Anonymous said...

Alain, you say at the beginning "We don't know how this started" as if to say, let's not judge, and then you jump into a bunch of assumptions, all of which place the blame on Disney and their handling of the situation.

Then in your second update you say that it's Disney's beauracracy that caused this? You think the best thing to do with a drunken individual is to slacken the rules and give them their way? The Attraction CM was only following the rules- the type of pass that this man had did not allow him to bypass this line. If the attraction had a different kind of queue, he may have been able to bypass, but ToT has a fully accessible queue, most likely because it was built so recently. The guest didn't understand that- he probably assumed that his pass gave him front of the line privelages and he overreacted at being told "no".

I do think Disney is at fault for one thing, and that's not sending more security to deal with this guy sooner and throw his ass out of the Park. They also would have been able to keep the other guests from interferring. But the loose cannon in this whole group was not the CM, and not the guests, and not the annoying lady screaming behind the camera, it was the drunk guy.