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Orlando SentinelOriginal Article »
July 19, 2007
One mother faces a felony trial and another the threat of lifelong head and neck injuries after a run-in at Walt Disney World's Mad Tea Party ride.
The fight as children and adults were boarding the ride was all about whether someone skipped places in line.
"Everybody was going to get on the ride," said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons. "You shake your head and wonder how this could happen."
The scuffle in the Magic Kingdom began May 27 when Victoria Walker accused Aimee Krause of jumping the queue leading to the spinning teacups ride, according to a Sheriff's Office report.
The report then describes what happened next:
Walker, 51, yelled and cussed about the perceived slight and shoved two children with Krause, then 34, as they all waited in a holding area to be the next group on the ride.
Walker was in line with her 11-year-old daughter. Krause had her children, ages 6 and 7, and a friend's two children with her in line.
According to Walker, Krause elbowed her as they moved through the line and then hit her again. Then, Walker said, Krause "kicked backwards" and struck her.
Krause had just put the second pair of children in a teacup when Walker kicked her from behind.
Walker, who stands 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 230 pounds, then grabbed Krause -- who is 5 feet, 5 inches -- from behind and began beating her. Walker stopped only after she was pulled off the smaller woman.
Police at first thought it was a minor dust-up and allowed Walker to go home to Alabama.
But Krause's doctors diagnosed a concussion, a herniated disk in her cervical spine and post-traumatic seizures. When investigators saw that, they issued a felony warrant and had Walker arrested in Alabama.
She has since been transported to Orlando and charged with felony battery. She posted $4,000 bail Tuesday and was released from the Orange County Jail.
Walker, whose phone number in Alabama has been disconnected, could not be reached for comment.
Now 35, Krause, of Clermont, hasn't worked or driven since the attack and needs weekly visits with a neurologist.
Medicine has helped control the seizures, but she said she relies on her husband and other family and friends to stay with her because of lingering memory and physical problems.
"My life has been ruined," she said. "I am not a vindictive person, but I want her to get the maximum. I want her to set a precedent, that you can't get away with that sort of behavior."
Krause also complained that the ride operator did not act fast enough to get security, and perhaps avert her injuries.
Two independent witnesses told deputies that Walker was screaming profanities and shoving a girl -- Krause's daughter -- before the attack.
Krause said she and others asked at least twice for the operator to call security and have Walker removed.
"We were in Fantasyland, which is for 5- and 6-year-olds," Krause said. "Cussing and shoving shouldn't be accepted there."
Walt Disney World representatives said that they are confident that their employee, called a cast member, followed the proper procedures. Spokeswoman Andrea Finger said Disney security responded to the scene right after the attack.
"Cast members are trained to contact security when they identify a disturbance. In this incident, the cast member did just that," she said.
Whether the appearance of security would have calmed the situation is unclear. The sheriff's report notes that Walker had an earlier assault arrest in Alabama.
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