Suspect on the Lam Turns Up in 'Happiest Place on Earth'

Quashon Burton, accused of COVID relief fraud, was busted by federal officer in Disney World
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2022 8:30 AM CDT

It's being called "the world's most magical arrest," though it probably doesn't feel very magical for the arrestee. Police say a Brooklyn man who's been on the lam for almost a year was taken into custody last month in the so-called happiest place on Earth, Florida's Disney World, after a federal officer who was vacationing there recognized the suspect, reports, WABC. Quashon Burton, said to be in his early 30s, was hit with fraud charges last year after he allegedly stole the identities of four people in order to make fake COVID relief claims totaling about $150,000.

Burton subsequently fled his New York City home, per People. He evaded authorities for months, but his luck ran out on Oct. 20, when he was visiting Disney World's Animal Kingdom theme park in Lake Buena Vista. Postal inspector Jeff Andre, who'd coincidentally worked on Burton's case, was also in Animal Kingdom that day and recognized an "H" tattoo on the suspect's neck. Andre alerted Disney security, which in turn contacted the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Burton, who had two relatives in tow at the park, was found by authorities at a park bus stop, where he's said to have provided a fake name, per WABC.

"When I attempted to secure him, he began tensing up and bracing his arms," the arresting deputy says in a report provided to People. "I informed him multiple times to place his hands behind his back, but he refused." Burton was charged with resisting an arrest without violence, the report notes. He also allegedly refused to give his real name when he was brought to the precinct to be booked and fingerprinted. Although a Florida magistrate initially OK'd Burton's release from federal custody, as long as he wore GPS monitoring, New York prosecutors argued he was an "extreme flight risk," and on Thursday, a federal judge agreed and ruled Burton be kept in custody until his trial, per WDWNT. (More fugitive stories.)

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