The former Disney World worker behind the BackDoorDisney social media accounts won’t serve any jail time on charges that he stole and sold items from the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom.
25-year-old Patrick Spikes had been charged with five felony counts, including dealing in stolen property and grand theft, but prosecutors abandoned all but the trafficking count, to which Spikes pleaded no contest.
Under the terms of the plea deal announced in court, Spikes will be subject to 250 hours of community service. Spikes told Orlando Rising after the court hearing that while the announced deal includes 10 years probation, that will be reduced to two years if he pays off the more than $25,000 in restitution and court fees within that time frame.
“I’m paying it all immediately,” he told Orlando Rising.
Spikes’ alleged accomplice, his cousin Blaytin Taunton, was sentenced to five years probation and 125 hours of community service. He also saw most of his charges dropped, pleading no contest to the grand theft charge.
The two men did not make any public statements to reporters at the Orange County Circuit Court, though The Orlando Sentinel’s Gabrielle Russon said Spikes “smiled and stuck at his tongue out at reporters” as he departed.
— Gabrielle Russon (@GabrielleRusson) February 4, 2020
The Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office also did not respond to a request for comment .
The long saga began with Spikes gaining infamy among Disney fans for posting backstage photos around Disney World on the BackDoorDisney account beginning in 2018. He was first questioned by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in December 2018 — an encounter where he tried to leave with his phone and was tackled to the ground by detectives — before being charged in May 2019.
Spikes and Taunton both pleaded not guilty on all charges. Prosecutors later dropped a charge related to the December 2018 questioning and then canceled the trial that was set to take place in January.
The original reason that the Spikes case drew so much attention, however, remains an unsolved mystery
As shown in the December 2018 video of his police questioning, detectives were seeking information about the theft of Buzzy, the animatronic star of Epcot’s long-shuttered Cranium Command attraction. Months after clothing items were reported stolen from the animatronic — which The Orlando Sentinel later discovered were sold to NBA center Robin Lopez — the entire figure was taken.
Orlando Rising found through a public records request that Disney reported the animatronic stolen in November 2018.
15 months later, detectives still don’t know who stole Buzzy.
“That case is still active and ongoing,” OCSO investigators told Orlando Rising Tuesday.
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