YouTuber arrested at Disney World for active-shooter stunt

The 22-year-old man said he was recording people's responses to his false claim of an active shooter, the arrest affidavit says.

Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read
Disney World

Disney World, scene of the alleged stunt.

Getty Images

An Arizona man was taken into custody Monday after falsely telling guests at Walt Disney World's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida, that there was an active shooter inside the hotel, according to the arrest affidavit.

A hotel employee told her manager that 22-year-old Dillion Burch said he'd told guests the resort was locked down because there was an active shooter. The employee said Burch told her he'd been recording a video for his YouTube channel while making the claims, CBS affiliate WKMG reported earlier.

The manager asked Burch why he'd done this, and he said he was working on a school project in which he needed to record people's reactions upon finding out there was an emergency, according to the affidavit. Guests told authorities they'd been approached by an intoxicated man who said there was an active shooter or an emergency and that they needed to evacuate. Witnesses told authorities he later said it was a joke and an experiment for his YouTube channel.

After the hotel manager told Burch he couldn't do that and that deputies were on their way, Burch said he'd leave on his own and walked out of the hotel lobby, the affidavit said. He saw deputies' lights and started running into the parking lot.

Hotel security allegedly found him hiding in a row of bushes, and when deputies arrived they found him crawling out of the hiding spot. Burch was searched and taken into custody. Police say they found beer in his backpack.

Burch was charged with disturbing the peace at a public lodging and disorderly intoxication. He was ousted from his hotel room and banned from Walt Disney World property, according to the affidavit. 

In his first court appearance, on Tuesday, Burch pleaded no contest to both charges and was sentenced to three days in jail, according to the Orange County Jail.

Efforts to reach Burch or a representative for him were unsuccessful.

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