DADE CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman has filed a police report against popular horror theme park “Scream-A-Geddon” for allegations of battery by a park employee.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the complaint of a female park-goer who is accusing a Scream-A-Geddon performer, under the guise of a haunted character, of inappropriately grabbing her buttocks during an interactive tour experience on the night of Oct. 3.
The woman, who came forward to 8 On Your Side’s Melanie Michael as 22-year-old Lauren Klink, said her backside was repeatedly grabbed by a male performer who was allegedly being “flirty” with her.
“He grabbed me and he held me and he prevented me from leaving so he could do it again,” Klink said.
A representative for Scream-A-Geddon, located in Dade City, said park management is fully cooperating with the investigation.
“We take these matters very seriously,” said PR Representative for Scream-a-Geddon Vanessa Evans. “Our organization does thorough background checks on every employee. The safety and security of our guests is paramount, and always a priority.”
Scream-A-Geddon is known for giving guests the option of an interactive tour, where park-goers can opt-in by wearing glow sticks. Those who choose the interactive experience are taken off the traditional horror route to be frightened by performers inside the attraction. By consenting to the interactive experience, performers are allowed to touch guests above the shoulders and below the knee, according to Evans.
In the complaint obtained by 8 On Your Side, the reporting officer said Klink volunteered for the interactive experience inside the “Black Pool Prison,” one of the park’s haunted house attractions. Klink told deputies she was the only one in her group of friends to opt-in to the interactive experience as one of her friends chose to take off their glow stick necklace.
Klink said one of the prisoner performers guided her through the experience by holding her hand, which she noted as “flirty.” She says the male character then touched the left side of her buttocks, but she originally believed it to be accidental.
After another grab she thought was intentional, the male character attempted to guide her into a jail cell. According to the complaint, the woman held up her arm and stated, “no, I’m good,” and began walking away. The performer then allegedly grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into the jail cell, where the woman says the character grabbed her on the left side of her buttocks again.
“My biggest thought was, how do I get out of here? Don’t let it continue,” Klink said.
The man is said to have remained in-character for the entire duration of the event.
Upon finishing the tour, Klink reported the alleged incident to Scream-A-Geddon staff. Klink was accompanied back into the attraction with park staff to identify the male performer, who was said to be new and likely to be fired for the incident.
“I told a manager (that night) woman to woman, I thought she’d have my back, and I trusted her,” said Klink. “Now, she denies everything happened, and she doesn’t know who I am, despite former employees coming to me and saying, we know who you are.”
The reporting officer noted Klink did not suffer any physical injuries as a result of the incident.
While the complaint was filed, PCSO said no charges have been filed at this time. The case has been handed over to the Florida State Attorney’s Office for review.