Ottawa-based YouTube star charged after dispute with Disney World security officers

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Wed, Mar 28: Security checks are common place entering places like theme parks. But when an Ottawa-based performer went to Walt Disney World in Florida last weekend, he was arrested. Sean O'Shea reports – Mar 28, 2018

An Ottawa-based YouTube personality was arrested and charged with trespassing and resisting an officer without violence at Disney World on Sunday after he accused security officers of stealing his camera bag and was asked to leave.

Jason Ethier, 28, was visiting the Florida resort for a day with fellow YouTube performer known as James The Fam.

After yielding his bag, which Ethier said contained an expensive camera and more than $1,000 cash, he walked through a metal detector at the security checkpoint.

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When he turned around to retrieve his bag, Ethier said it was gone.

With almost no other park guests coming into the park through the checkpoint, Ethier accused Disney’s security officers of hiding his bag. When he insisted they review security video to see what happened to his bag, he said officers refused.

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At that point, Ethier began arguing with security officers.

His friend, James  — who had been videotaping Ethier walk through security — was told to stop recording. An officer told him to delete the video, which he did, but he later retrieved it.

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At one point in the video, Ethier is told to leave the park.

Ethier, who began to livestream the commotion as well, is heard agreeing to leave and can be seen walking away while still angry with officers.

Then, although he is leaving, Ethier is arrested by an Orange County Sheriff’s Office off-duty deputy, who is working for Disney that day.

Ethier is placed in handcuffs, taken to the station and later released on $1,200 bail.

Global News obtained a copy of the officer’s arrest report detailing the incident.

The second page of the report relating to the arrest of Jason Ethier.
The second page of the report relating to the arrest of Jason Ethier. Handout

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In it, officer Thomas Stephens acknowledged Ethier was leaving as instructed.

“While walking away, Mr. Ethier continued to curse, scream and multiple times stopped and turned around to curse at myself,” Stephens wrote in the report.

The audio portion of the video picks up Ethier saying, “I’m going now, I’m going.”

Stephens said Ethier told him, “This is why everyone hates American police.”

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Global News tried to contact Walt Disney World a number of times but did not hear back by time of publication. However, Ethier said he was told the bag was found shortly after the incident. The bag is in the possession of police since it’s considered to be evidence.

Ethier was previously arrested in Ottawa and charged with trespassing after staging several “24-hour challenge” videos, which showed him sneaking into hotels and stadiums after hours.

Orlando lawyer Troy Webber, who is not connected to the case, said Ethier would not be guilty of resisting arrest or trespassing if he agreed to leave the theme park as the video appears to indicate.

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