A South Carolina man is scheduled to make his first court appearance next month after he was accused of slapping a teenage hostess at a Walt Disney World Resort restaurant three times in the forehead while under the influence of alcohol, after she refused to sit on him because of the restaurant's dress code.
John Monroe, 64, was arrested and charged with battery after an altercation between him and a 19-year-old flight attendant at Cítricos inside Disney's Grand Floridian Resort in November.
Monroe, no stranger to luxury hotels, is vice president of hospitality, sales and marketing at the prestigious Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head, where he lives, according to Walt Disney World News Today.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by Fox 35 Orlando, on November 19, 2023, Orange County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the spa in connection with the battery.
A preliminary investigation revealed that shortly before 7:30 p.m., a restaurant hostess was checking in on a family who had a reservation for three people.
However, the group arrived with four people. Two women and two men.
According to arrest records, one of the men, Monroe, was not dressed in accordance with the restaurant's dress code.
He was wearing swim shorts and a T-shirt, and Cítricos' website states that “guests are expected to dress respectfully to the restaurant's sophisticated, upscale aesthetic,” explicitly adding that no swimsuits are allowed.
Monroe was wearing “swim trunks and a T-shirt,” and the flight attendant told him he would not be allowed to have dinner with his family, the report said.
Monroe seemed to understand but said he would wait with his group until they were seated.
The flight attendant agreed to his request, but the situation escalated when she took the group to be seated moments later.
According to deputies, Monroe followed the group of three to their table even though he was told he was not allowed to do so.
“Please don't let him sit with us. He's really drunk and underdressed. It's my birthday and I'm embarrassed,” one woman told the flight attendant, according to the affidavit.
When the flight attendant told Monroe he couldn't sit with the group, he “began slapping her forehead repeatedly” three times while mentioning her name, which he read from the name tag on her shirt, deputies said.
Deputies said the flight attendant did not suffer any injuries, refused medical treatment, and wished to pursue charges.
Deputies arrested Monroe, who they said appeared to be intoxicated due to his “slurred speech, bright red eyes, and constant repetition that he was going to sue Disney,” the arrest affidavit said.
Monroe was arrested and released on $1,000 bail the next morning.
He has also been placed on administrative leave “amid review of this personnel matter,” resort spokeswoman Karen Moraghan confirmed Thursday to The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette.
Surveillance video from the restaurant was not available, but prosecutors intend to use police body camera footage from the incident, according to Florida court records.
Monroe has pleaded not guilty and is expected to appear in court for a pretrial hearing on February 16.
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