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Suffolk man sues Disney World over arrest in marriage proposal plan

A Suffolk County  man is suing Walt Disney World, claiming he was falsely arrested after a 2015 dispute with a park employee over his marriage proposal plans.

Marc Rubin, 57, said in court documents he had hoped to propose to his now-wife in front of Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom park after a parade when a Disney employee requested he move from his intended spot.

Rubin said in the suit that he was falsely accused of battery by park staff and detained by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Rubin is seeking at least $15,000 in damages and other costs. The suit was filed Sept. 27 in Orange County Circuit Court.

“The safety of the people who work in and visit our parks is very important to us,” a Disney spokeswoman said in a statement. “We will respond to the allegations as appropriate in court.”

Rubin’s attorney, John W. Zielinski, of Orlando, Florida, did not respond to a request for comment.

According to Rubin’s suit, the July 8, 2015, proposal was “an event that was intended to be one of the most important” of his life. After the theme park’s nightly parade, Rubin said he staked out a spot in front of the castle while his girlfriend and other family members, including two teens, visited a concession cart.

Rubin said he was then approached by a female park employee who asked him to move from the location. According to court documents, Rubin was willing to move, but asked to stay until his family returned.

An argument followed, with Rubin and the park offering different accounts of what happened. Rubin said he never touched the employee and that the employee continued to insist he move “without regard to the legitimate safety concerns” about Rubin being separated from his family.

According to a sheriff’s office arrest report obtained by Disney, the park employee said she asked Rubin to move out of the parade route, about 3 feet, and that he refused to do so, becoming angry. The employee told police that Rubin threatened to have her fired and grabbed her shirt when she turned around to walk away.

The employee then called security. Her manager told police that he arrived to find Rubin screaming at the employee. He said Rubin then argued with him as well and grabbed his shirt, too, though he declined to press charges.

A sheriff’s office representative was not available for comment.

According to court records, Rubin was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery. He pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge and paid a fine of $100, plus court costs, in 2015.

Rubin claims in the court documents that Disney World failed to provide surveillance video he said would have exonerated him and failed to conduct an internal investigation before reporting the incident to the sheriff’s office, among other claims.

He said he “suffered injury and resulting pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, embarrassment and humiliation, loss of earnings, and loss of ability to earn money” as a result of his arrest.

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