Man arrested for allegedly molesting a child at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

Posted Saturday, July 18, 2009 12:41 PM | Contributed by Jeff

In just four months, more than a dozen children at Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach and Aquatica reported they were molested or exposed to another person's sexual organs. Deputies said the latest incident happened Thursday at Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon. Although investigators are charging Amazon.com employee David Eugene Thomas with molesting a 13-year-old boy, they think Thomas victimized more than six children.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Sunday, July 19, 2009 3:31 PM
The Mole's avatar

MidwavePC said:
We live in an age of violence at Church festivals, molestation and rape at amusement and water parks, and drug dealings in every community in the USA....I would LOVE to see an adult community such as Coasterbuzz come up with a workable solution to ANY of these problems! Any solid ideas, friends?

No. We don't. Stranger danger is bull****. Crime rates are down, drug deals don't happen on every block, and all it takes is a small history lesson to realize that we're much safer now than we were in the 50's and 60's.

Mass hysteria.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009 3:46 PM
Jeff's avatar

Carrie M. said:
My entire issue with the concept of treatment/rehabilitation in these cases is that it only comes as a result of getting caught, not of the realization that one has a problem and wants and needs help with it. I don't think that provides the right condition for mental assistance.

Totally agree with you there. There are certainly bigger issues that hinder any real solutions. I mean, it has been my experience that people won't even see a therapist for "simple" problems of love, loss, and sense of purpose. If people are too afraid to see a professional for something like that, because they're embarrassed or think something is wrong with them, the chances of someone who shows his junk to little kids has no chance.

And really, some of the responses here demonstrate why that's the case. String him up by the balls! Let him have prison justice! Doesn't exactly make it OK to face your issues. It's hard to believe that mental illness is still culturally treated as choice instead of a medical condition.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Sunday, July 19, 2009 6:46 PM
LostKause's avatar

I don't know how, but I totally overlooked Carrie's reply to my post...

Carrie M. said:
LK, all you have done is demonstrate...

It's a pretty serious story, I'll agree. I just don't want to be oneof the fifty people who keeps his real opinion to himself and simply saysthe same old thing that everyone else is saying for fear that they say the wrong thing.

I think that maybe my reply made some people uncomfortable, and that'sthe problem. I'll admit that the tone of my reply didn't help either. I really am agreeing with a lot ofpeople here. I just don't want to post "Me too!" after every post.

I guess that I should have left the teenager stuff out, because that's not what this is about, except that the kid was almost legal, which still doesn't make it right, because he was being molested all those years...well I already said all of that.

We probably agree on most everything when it comes to kids, Carrie. All apologies.


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Sunday, July 19, 2009 10:19 PM

I have not read the complete article and wish not to at this point.

My sister was an victim of something like this when she was under 10 years old.

I know have my own daughter that I love more than anything. She is know three and if anyone in the world ever did anything to here, well hanging of the balls will be the best they can ask from me.......... There is no defintion for the pain I would put that person through.

I have not always thought this way, until I had my ow little bundle of joy. I would kill for her in this situation. The courts to not offer justice in my opinion. I have been were the courts send you and it is a Marriott (only for a couple of days though)...

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Sunday, July 19, 2009 11:11 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

I don't think it's a Marriott for sex offenders, particularly pedophiles. The rest of the prison community makes sure of that.

In case my earlier commentary eluded to the idea that I am in any way sympathetic to child molesters and/or pedophiles, let me be clear when I say that I am not.

I can only hope the psychiatric field can gain a better understanding about the mental challenges of these folks such that a proactive approach toward prevention can occur. I would be all for that.

But when a child has been harmed in this way, it's all bets off as far as I'm concerned. There are no excuses and no exceptions. I agree with Bill that when you know someone who has been impacted this way or if you have children in your life, the boundaries become pretty clear.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Sunday, July 19, 2009 11:35 PM

People like this are opportunists. They scope the area, and go after who appear to be the likeliest they can molest without getting caught. When it's dozens or hundreds of kids and pre-teens watched over by a handful of lifeguards, it's easy pickings for a sexual predator.

My question is where are the parents in this? We know one was in another state entirely. Are they actively watching what their kids are doing and who's around them while at waterparks? Or do they totally abdicate responsibility expecting park staff to watch over their children? How many parents do you see lying on deck chairs, faces turned skyward or downward soaking in rays? Or reading books, or doing whatever on their iPhones and Blackberries. Sure, a flasher can expose himself to anyone within a second. But a 14-year old girl doesn't get raped while her parents turn their backs for just a few seconds.

Were these kids parts of school or other groups? Were there 100 kids with 3 or 4 chaperones? The best way we have right now to prevent this from happening is limit the opportunities potential molestors have to approach a child. Best defense seems to be that parents watch over their own children closely. Maybe that means you don't let you kids go to a waterpark unless you're there to supervise them personally.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009 11:54 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

I agree, Bear. Water parks may not be the best places to allow your kids to go off on their own.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Monday, July 20, 2009 12:57 AM

^That's really something to think about in this particular story. Inappropriate behavior and the occasional incident are nothing new to the waterpark industry, but why the recent rise in this? Are these waterparks now being widly used as daycare or teen supervision facilities? A 14 year-old girl on her own at a "midnight celebration" at Wet N Wild sounds like bad news.

Also if a waterpark requires me to submit to a background check before entering, I'd assume they've taken on the responsibilities of a daycare facility. So as an adult, I'd rather not pay to splash around at a daycare facility.

Last edited by Cropsey, Monday, July 20, 2009 1:12 AM
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Monday, July 20, 2009 1:39 AM

You have to cut the cord on constant adult supervision at some point.

My 14 year old daughter has a SFGAm season pass and goes to the park with her friends all the time without adults attending with them. Since the waterpark there is included with park admission, she regularly goes in the waterpark also.

IMO, she is mature enough, and doesn't need mom or dad watching over her all the time.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Monday, July 20, 2009 9:28 AM
The Mole's avatar

Chitown said:
You have to cut the cord on constant adult supervision at some point.

My mom read books and sat on the chair while we played in the water 20-30 feet infront of her. And I wasn't molested nor was she neglagant. She would look up every few pages, make sure we're ok, and let us enjoy our lives.

You can't watch kids 24/7 and it's pointless to try and background search every single person who enters the park. I'd hardly say Typhoon Lagoon or any other water park is where these guys aim to go.

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Monday, July 20, 2009 10:03 AM

Speaking as the dad of a seven year old, I find it hard at times to tell where the proper line of supervision vs granting independence lies. I tend to err on the side of caution. I hover a lot. It doesn't matter whether we're at Playplace or the city pool; if I don't see her every few minutes, I go find her. I suspect that as she gets older, it's gonna be difficult for me to let that line move back. But since I love her and want her to someday make that transition to self-functioning adult, it's a transition I will have to (reluctantly and cautiously) embrace.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Monday, July 20, 2009 10:38 AM

I am with you there Smith. I have 12 and 10 yr old daughters. When we were at Aquatica a few weeks ago they were with us or within 100 ft. They may have been at the deeper part of the wave pool while my wife and I were at the edge with our 7 month old son. But even then, every ten minutes or so, I would swim out to where they were and check on them. A positive to this would be, any unknown creeps still know these two are being watched by their parents. That wasn't the main reason for going out, I wanted to have fun with the older children to, but I know it doesn't hurt.

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Monday, July 20, 2009 11:05 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

The Mole said:


My mom read books and sat on the chair while we played in the water 20-30 feet infront of her. And I wasn't molested nor was she neglagant. She would look up every few pages, make sure we're ok, and let us enjoy our lives.

You can't watch kids 24/7 and it's pointless to try and background search every single person who enters the park. I'd hardly say Typhoon Lagoon or any other water park is where these guys aim to go.

Playing 20-30 feet in front of your Mom is hardly being left alone at the water park. I think RGB's point was that parents leave their kids unattended at places like this and that may not be the best choice under certain circumstances.

You also seem to be pretty clear about where predators target and where they don't. Given there seem to be more reports of incidents at water parks lately, what makes you so certain that they aren't places "where these guys aim to go"?


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 2:51 PM

I would definately believe water parks would be a target place for stuff. The people of all ages are already typically dressed as little as the public is allowed.

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