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My Halloween Horror Nights Experience at Universal Studios

Posted Mon October 15, 2007 12:00 pm, by Matthew S. written to Universal Studios, Inc.

Write a Letter to this Company

I started my day Friday October 12, 2007 with a seven hour drive to Universal Studios in Orlando, I encountered alot of traffic on I-75 (not Universal's fault). I arrived into town and got some gas, along with a couple of Sprites for my girlfriend and I at a local convienience store before heading over to the park.

I paid to park in The parking garage and parked my car. As soon as my girlfriend and I stepped out of my car, a bike security guard immediately approached us questioning our drinks that were sitting on the hood of our car. The guard asked "What are you drinking?" I replied "Sprite." The guard asked "Can I check it?" I said "No" (Because it is my constitutional right to not have my personal possessions searched without probable cause and I gave no probable cause. The guard was meerly stereotyping and profiling me because of my college license plate and attire.) The guard asked, "Is there alcohol in your drinks?" and I replied, "No, Sir, there isn't." The guard asked again, "Can I search your drink?" and I replied, "No you do not have the right to, however, if drinks are not allowed in the park I will gladly throw the drinks out or leave them at the car." The guard then said, "Come with me and we will discuss the matter further." After a few steps I said, "Go ahead search my drinks, I do not have time for this, I paid extra to get into Islands of Adventure from 4pm-7pm." The guard replied, "Oh, now you want to cooperate? No, you had your chance." From there the guard brought us back into a white tent, where he never even checked our drinks, but still proceeded to fill out two trespassing forms for my girlfriend and I; We were then immediately escorted out of the park.

I am a Florida State Law student and I know that the guard did not have the right to search my personal possessions. I can understand if we were on our way inside the actual park, but this was at my vehicle. I was meerly exercising my constitutional rights. My college football jersey and FSU license plate is not considered probable cause to search my property. I was polite and I was in the right. I did not sign any waiver of my rights before entering the park, nor did the tickets specify any such waivers. I incurred a financial lose due to that event. I paid $70 for gas to get to Orlando. I paid $100 for tickets, I paid $70 for a hotel, I had to pay $11 for parking, and I had to pay additional money to find something else to do that night, which amounted to $80. I am putting myself through college and my money is hard earned. I saved up for this trip for months. I am at a loss for words for how poorly my girlfriend and I were treated. The guard treated my girlfriend and I like criminals and harassed us because I did not want to give up my constitutional rights, and I feel that he illegally profiled and stereotyped me. My girlfriend was in complete emotional distress because of the event. I, myself, am very distressed and in complete disbelief that the event even occured in the first place.

My girlfriend and I were banned from Universal Studios in Orlando for the entire year for not waiving our constitutional rights. We were wrongly accused and illegally profiled. My family and I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars with Universal Resorts, we have gone at least twice a year for the last 15 years, and my family was planning to stay in the resorts for Spring Break 2008. My girlfriend and her family have also recently been annual pass holders for numerous years. I just cannot believe that your security treats people like that and I am afraid that we can never enjoy the parks as we once did. I already have had five friends change their minds about visiting the park after hearing my story and I am sure it will be passed onto others, as well. I just hope no one else will have that same experience.

I don't know what can be done to take this back. I just want a refund at least and to have the trespasses revoked.


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by NoGodForMe Posted Thu November 27, 2008 @ 9:02 AM

The answer is to Boycott Orlando all together. I have a web page up
with details of how the trespass warnings work. I'm the one who was
kicked out and then featured in the story that ran in the Orlando

Regardless of the comebacks saying we deserve it, the City of Orlando
and Universal Orlando are going too far with their enforcement of said

What is very shocking is this has been going on for a long time, and
no one had the courage to make a web site and talk about it, until
now. There is no way to sue Universal to have the warnings rescinded
and get your money back for loss of tickets and annual passes. But we
can Boycott Orlando because it's the Orlando Police Department that is
behind all of this.

by PaulJonas Posted Tue October 21, 2008 @ 11:09 AM

I have been to Orlando with my wife and 2 children at least 40 times
in the last 9 years, and while reading this letter there is only one
thing that comes to my mind in big bold letters: UNIVERSAL IS NOT
Disney parks also have their ways of searching people and their
belongings for alcohool and other objects not allowed in the park, but
their security guards demonstrate a minimum of training, respect and
dignity, which is not the case with Universal at all. As unfortunate
as it is, this can be in part explained by the huge difference in
ticket price you pay to go to Universal Studios versus DisneyWorld.
Next time try Pleasure Island for your adult entertainment. Consider
the fact that you were banned for a year a favor they did to you to
remind you to never come back!

by sindy Posted Mon October 20, 2008 @ 1:11 AM

i am very sorry for the money you lost but the same thing happened to
my son .he was falsly accused of smoking pot after a surcurity gard
said he smelled pot .they took him in the back took his annual pass he
has had for years .told him he was not allowed back for a year.i
thought you were innocent untill proven guilty but notading at
universal .we have had season passes forever but now will have to
rethink buying them next year please post if you have had same problem
at universal also we want the trespass re
voked and apology fron universal .thanks for reading


by James D. Posted Thu April 3, 2008 @ 11:40 AM

My wife went over there for her bachelorrette party and the officers
harrassed and arrested her and a friend.... making false allugations
in their report. The officers were very aggressive and threw my wife
to the ground just because she questioned why they were arresting her
friend. We have to take this to court, and my wife who has never
been in trouble--- is facing serious charges.

this whole situation is ridiculous.

by helicopter mum Posted Thu November 1, 2007 @ 11:02 AM

I know exactly where you are coming from!!!!
An incident at Citywalk ended up with a young man arrested for doing
nothing wrong other than to trying and prove he was innocent.
Some of the security guards are well out of order.You know what they
say when "you give a man a uniform".
He was wrongly accused of buying/supplying a young girl with alchohol,
he'd only just met her a short while before. She was the one with
alchohol "jello shot", he didn't have any, he wasn't anywhere near her
at the time, all the previous time he was with her and others, she had
not had any alchohol.(1 1/2 - 2 hours) They had no proof he bought or
supplied her with it. He didn't even know what was going on until a
guard took his I.D.details and issued him with a 12 month ban from all
Universal property. Everytime he asked what was happening the guard
said nothing, he was not drunk or rude, finally a Police Officer
explained what was happening and said the only thing to do was to try
and talk to the manager, to have the trespass order recinded. He tried
on the way out, but was told to "Go or he would be arrested".(At night
no manager there).He tried telephoning several times over the next few
days, spoke to some people asked for someone/manager to contact him,
telephone him back, left phone numbers. Is this the action of someone
who is guilty. No! He was trying to clear his name. Talk about "Guilty
before being proved innocent!" Nobody got back to him.
He finally decided to go to the Customer Services to try speak to
someone, a manager. Didn't attempt to go into Citywalk or any of the
parks without clearing his name. Whilst "pretending" to listen to his
side of the story, the Police had been called and he was arrested for
Trespassing, taken to Jail and everything "snowballed" from then.
There is really "no other side " to this story, where was their proof?
He still has no idea how he became involved even if it was the girl's
idea to include him? He never saw her again.


I doubt it by Adam D Thu November 1, 2007 @ 6:38 PM

The truth is often harder to believe by helicopter mum Thu November 1, 2007 @ 8:08 PM

Ok, but by Adam D Thu November 1, 2007 @ 9:04 PM

Why he was arrested by helicopter mum Thu November 1, 2007 @ 11:48 PM

N/T by Adam D Fri November 2, 2007 @ 8:14 PM

by Andrew 1 Posted Thu November 1, 2007 @ 9:43 AM

I think it's very significant that this happened to someone
considering a legal profession. Many times I feel that attorneys
haven't had to deal with corruption on an everyman level, but here, I
see that someone heading for a law career has. I think that's a
benefit for the rest of us.


by Gonda! Posted Fri October 26, 2007 @ 3:31 PM

Was there a reason you were charged with trespassing? Did I over look

What do the guards-on-bikes do to check your drinks? Take a swig
themselves? Eew.

Sounds like you were caught on a bad day by a rent-a-cop on a bike
with no seat.


by Simbabe54 Posted Thu October 25, 2007 @ 9:36 AM

What,exactly,is illegal profiling?I was stopped once for a random
security check at the airport,but I didn't once think to make an issue
of it and call it illegal profiling...in fact,it wasn't a big deal and
took less than 5 minutes,and I was on my flight a half hour later,no
worse the wear.
The guard did have the right to search your possessions,because
Islands of Adventure is private property,just as airports and many
other public places are.
I really don't understand this letter......it would have taken about 5
minutes for the guard to check your drinks and then you could have
been on your merry way and probabaly had a great time at the park(I
have been there and it is awesome).
Get a grip on reality.


I agree... by Persephoneo Thu October 25, 2007 @ 11:54 AM

Halloween night by Lendy Hart Tue October 30, 2007 @ 12:46 AM

horror by T. C. Mon November 5, 2007 @ 10:32 PM
by VGonzalez Posted Wed October 24, 2007 @ 9:49 AM

If you visit Universal so often why are you not aware of the rules and
regulations of not bringing drinks into the park Mr. Law Student?? My
bet is this is a partial rendition of what happened and if we talked
to any witnesses or the security guard we'd get a whole diffrent
story. Let me guess, next you'll be claiming it was racial


Thank you! by Adam D Wed October 24, 2007 @ 6:39 PM

by Dave L Posted Tue October 23, 2007 @ 9:04 AM

get a lawyer and sue them for damages. a good lawyer will see that
this is a strong case for compensation.


On what grounds? by Tom S. Tue October 23, 2007 @ 5:57 PM

Bad Investment by Adam D Tue October 23, 2007 @ 8:36 PM

You're kidding right? by Harleycat Fri October 26, 2007 @ 11:39 AM

by H.Joe Strickland Posted Tue October 23, 2007 @ 12:01 AM

I agree that they were oversold, understaffed and created a dangerous
situation. Those of you poking FUN obviously have not been there. It
is easy to type smart comebacks, but try some empathy for humanity and
less for the mega-giant money-grubbing company.


Sympathy? by Tom S. Tue October 23, 2007 @ 7:52 PM

Halloween Horror Nights by JADE4280 Tue October 23, 2007 @ 10:18 PM
by JADE4280 Posted Sun October 21, 2007 @ 1:46 PM

My Halloween Horror Nights was an awful expierence also. Total chaos
and aggravation as soon as I paid the parking fee. Noone to guide cars
to parking spots, People on the top floor driving aggressivly in wrong
directions yelling at people. I witnessed an altercation in the
parking garage also. A woman was almost assaulted. After seperating
from my friend to go to customer service to get our tickets(i
purchased them online and was not able to print them)I left her to
find parking, it took another hour may I add. As I approached the
front gates, there were massive crowds of people pushing and shoving.
I did not think they were allowed to let soo many people in. I
purchased my tickets online a few days b4 hand and was under the
impression when they were sold out that was it, but no, they made an
exception, When u got to the gate if u wanted to get in they would let
any amount of people in as long as they paid an extrA 10 dollars.I
feel I might b getting a lil drawn out with this so ill speed it
up,Liquor booths everywhere , even in the lines.No juice or water
though, only beer. I was not able to get the heat exausted 13 year old
diabetic any juice or water .2 and 1/2 hours of waiting in line for a
haunted house. Just to b pushed and hurried through by employees. And
Underaged intoxicated minors flailing around screaming how wasted they
were( i witnessed that alot, several children)And to finish the night
off as i waited the 90 min wait for the Jason haunted house, There
were a group of intoxicated belingerate men cutting through the
lines.An altercation broke out when we kindly ask them not to cut in
front of us, just go behind us. They screamed at us, spit in my
friends face, and when we called security noone came, we couldnt
escape because there were sooo many people the lines were soo
croudedthere was no where to go. They started shoving us, We screamed
security more noone came. One of them started to swing at my
friend(whos a girl i may add) so she defended herself.Needless to say
we were brought back to the security section, had to file paperwork
patronized as I asked teary eyed, How can u let soo many people in the
park, drinking no less with no secutriy. Their response was 50,000
people 70 cops. Theres nothing we can do. So same as u we were banned
for a year, the woman that was spit on, the mother crying for security
as her daughter was swung at, the 13 year old diabetic who just stood
back and watched scared and me and my boyfriend who looked for a way
out of the crowds but there was nowhere to go.They also tried to
justify it by saying there were metal detectors in the entrance. That
we were safe, but as a nurse I know,It doesnt take a knife , or gun to
kill someone,with force and time u can beat someone to death.And i was
very scared.50,000 people, at the minimum of $60 a ticket, thats
3,000,000 dollars minimum universal brought in that night, not
counting express passes liquor, upgrades etc.And they would only pay
for 70 police officers, Might I add after a man was shot in the
parking lot during halloween horror night last year.Its criminal what
they can get away with.Dont get me wrong, I dont want to b a party
pooper, let them serve liquor if they want, All I ask is for safety
when i go to the theme parks. Im not allowed to go back for a year. To
tell u the truth I dont know if I ever will. Especially, Especially on
Halloween Horror Nights.


Yuck. by Persephoneo Sun October 21, 2007 @ 5:26 PM

Why on Earth did you go in? by Tom S. Sun October 21, 2007 @ 7:03 PM

REPLY by JADE4280 Mon October 22, 2007 @ 10:02 AM

Maybe.... by Adam D Tue October 23, 2007 @ 8:48 PM

Halloween Horror Nights by JADE4280 Tue October 23, 2007 @ 10:25 PM

Very true, but by Adam D Tue October 23, 2007 @ 10:34 PM

I just want it to be known.... by JADE4280 Thu October 25, 2007 @ 10:23 AM

by Andrew 1 Posted Sun October 21, 2007 @ 4:21 AM

You are perfectly within your rights to want the trespassing thing
revoked and your money refunded. As to profiling, you are young, and
yes, that puts you into a suspect group.
Picking your battles is what you do after you've been out there for a
while and have learned that it doesn't pay, and is a waste of time, to
put on your armour and pick up your sword just because one of your
many rights has been violated.
The guard was out of line. But give someone a military hat and the
uniform and they become a general. A fact of life that you're going to
run into many times in the law profession. I guess you just have to
learn to cross the street when you see a bully blocking your path. Or
expect a black eye and torn clothing when you stand up for your


Oh c'mon by Adam D Sun October 21, 2007 @ 7:48 PM

I've been to Florida... by Andrew 1 Tue October 23, 2007 @ 2:09 AM

Check your facts bud by Adam D Tue October 23, 2007 @ 8:43 PM

Here's an experiment... by Andrew 1 Wed October 24, 2007 @ 10:21 AM

I feel sorry for you. by Adam D Wed October 24, 2007 @ 11:37 AM

And on top of that by Adam D Wed October 24, 2007 @ 12:27 PM

You are held... by Andrew 1 Thu October 25, 2007 @ 12:03 PM

The Universal "White tent" by helicopter mum Thu November 1, 2007 @ 8:33 PM

Say what you want by MA Loper Sat October 27, 2007 @ 10:23 AM

You ought to learn to read, MA by Andrew 1 Mon October 29, 2007 @ 1:44 PM

Thank You! by LMM Tue October 30, 2007 @ 12:50 AM

Nothing worse... by Andrew 1 Tue October 30, 2007 @ 2:08 AM

Enlighten Me by Adam D Thu November 1, 2007 @ 11:45 PM

You're talking to MA, not me, right? by Andrew 1 Fri November 2, 2007 @ 11:05 AM

Yep by Adam D Fri November 2, 2007 @ 12:15 PM

by c/o Canterbury School Posted Sun October 21, 2007 @ 12:31 AM

That is terrible for what happened to you. Good luck.


by Persephoneo Posted Sat October 20, 2007 @ 1:58 PM


I learn from your letter that you are studying Law. I think that is
fantastic. The problem is, from my friends who have studied law,
psychology (councelling and psychology), etc... is that since they are
learning such interesting things, they start applying it to their real
lives. My psychologist friend started psychoanalysing everyone and I
started feeling afraid of saying anything for what it might "reveal"
to my novice psychologist friend.

I think it is the same thing with you in a way. You are learning the
in's and out's of the law and you wanted to flex your "Legal Muscle"
and armed with your knowledge there was NO WAY you were going to let
the guard check your drink without 'just cause' or a warrant or

Thing is, that just makes a little nuisance situation into a big
problem. Because YOU made a big stink about your pop, it behooved the
park to send you on your way (maybe they feared you'd be sue happy if
something negative happened during your stay at the park). Either
way, they decided they did not want you there, and that is their

All in all, you have to choose your battles in this life, or you'll be
a very unhappy person.


And he misapplied the Fourth Amendment by Tom S. Sat October 20, 2007 @ 3:53 PM

by dan gory Posted Sat October 20, 2007 @ 12:51 PM

I hope before you graduate law school you learn to spell merely.


by Melissa Savelloni Posted Sat October 20, 2007 @ 9:47 AM

I agree that the security guard was out of line. He should not have
even approached you unless you were giving him a reason to (like being
rowdy, playing loud music etc) And there is a time and a place to
stand up for yourself. However, this was not the time. You have to
choose your battles. It was unfortunate that you were kicked out, and
it was unfortunate that you werent refunded, but if you never entered
the power struggle with the (obnoxious) security guard this wouldnt
have happened.

I know its too late, but the best course of action (well... maybe not
the absolute best, but what i would do...) would be to just let him do
his thing, then speak to management about the ego-tripping security

I think you should be refunded, since you never entered the park. Its
a shame that security guards have nothing better to do then to push
people around and act like childish bullies.


by SouthernBreeze Posted Fri October 19, 2007 @ 12:38 PM

What's right or wrong aside - if I had drove 7 hours I'd probably just
let him check the drink so I could just go on in to Universal Studios.
I wouldn't have liked it, and I'd probably think he was being a bit
overzealous, but I wouldn't want something so minor be the reason I
was banned.

Like others have said before me, I have to wonder if there's more to
this story, but we'll never really know. I'd be interested to see what
their response to this is.


by p d Posted Thu October 18, 2007 @ 5:04 PM

How in the world does a person check a drink? Is there some kind of
test that they do?


What??? by ColoradoCOP Thu October 18, 2007 @ 5:09 PM

Since I don't drink and am not around alcohol I wouldn't know that you jerk. by p d Thu October 18, 2007 @ 8:16 PM

. by ColoradoCOP Thu October 18, 2007 @ 8:25 PM

THEY SMELL IT!! LOL WOW by arodriguez67 Thu October 18, 2007 @ 5:11 PM

It's a fair question! by Peregrina Fri October 19, 2007 @ 12:58 AM

by Nayda Badillo Posted Thu October 18, 2007 @ 8:18 AM

Lemme give you some words of advice..

Life is very very simple.. don't complicate it!

The letter is well written (grammar wise) although there are several
inconsistancies in it. This all could have been avoided..had you
allowed the drinks to be searched. If you had nothing to hide, it
would have taken less than ONE minute of your time and you would have
enjoyed the rest of the day!

KISS!! ;) simplest way to live life ;)


Well by U B Thu October 18, 2007 @ 10:17 AM

But then.. by Harleycat Thu October 18, 2007 @ 10:31 AM

but by U B Thu October 18, 2007 @ 10:52 PM

I don't think anyone here is saying they'd like it. by BellaSera Thu October 18, 2007 @ 10:46 AM

Sure by U B Thu October 18, 2007 @ 10:53 PM

by mary jo Posted Wed October 17, 2007 @ 3:07 PM

While this is a well written and informative letter I have to comment
on one thing.

You are in law school and it shows. However, unless the guard said
something specifically about you being in college, your clothing or
the tag on your car, you are just ASSUMING you were profiled because
of that.

I would think that a law student as smart as you obivously are, would
know better than to do something like that and try to pass it off as

But I do think you do deserve to have your money refunded.


by Chris Pattullo Posted Wed October 17, 2007 @ 2:22 PM

'I was meerly exercising my constitutional rights.' Well, Hot Dang!
Good for you. Your so-called 'exercise' got you tossed out for a

This tome is filled with so many inconsistencies it's laughable. How
can your girlfriend and her family 'recently' become annual pass
holders 'for numerous years?'

Driving for seven hours? Isn't Florida State in Florida? I drove
from Tampa to Detroit in eight hours. What were you doing,
cross-crossing the state?

When you begin 'Once Upon A Time,' have all your made up facts laid
out in a straight row. That way you won't get tripped up. You might
also take a remedial English class--possibly as a second language?


Tampa to Detroit by Jeffrey Wed October 17, 2007 @ 3:12 PM

LOL! by MA Loper Fri October 19, 2007 @ 11:25 AM

time by T. C. Wed November 14, 2007 @ 11:46 PM

Credibility Issue for OP by Tom S. Wed October 17, 2007 @ 4:44 PM

The OP mentioned he was in really heavy traffic by RedheadWGlasses Thu October 18, 2007 @ 12:08 PM

Seven hour drive by Jen v2.0 Wed October 17, 2007 @ 5:46 PM

I completely agree about the 7 hours... by TwinkleToes Wed October 17, 2007 @ 8:34 PM

Law School Liar by NICHOLAI Wed October 17, 2007 @ 7:01 PM

by Jeffrey Posted Wed October 17, 2007 @ 12:29 PM

Someone else might have already said this, but...

This was a security guard, no? Not a police officer.

You were on private property. You're right: you don't have to let
them search your drink. However, they have the right to have you
removed from their property.

Sorry, not a Constitutional issue.

by C A Posted Wed October 17, 2007 @ 11:54 AM

Another law student. Now that's scary.


by burkhagirl Posted Wed October 17, 2007 @ 11:18 AM

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the
Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and
drinking largely sobers us again."

I'm just saying. Everyday I see attorneys who make me fear for my
profession. Thanks for taking care of the 10/17 quota. Even though
you're still in school, I worry. Maybe ConLaw will eventually sort
you out.


by ~Fiâi-la-âlea~ Posted Wed October 17, 2007 @ 8:42 AM

A lot of great opinions here in addition to a good letter. I'm a bit
torn on this, only because I think there may be some details we will
never know. I find it strange that he just approached you, but by your
own admission you were tired and probably came across as beligerant to
the guard which then caused him to toughen up with you.

Anyway if you hear back from them please let us know. I enjoyed
reading this thread :)


by Casmly Posted Wed October 17, 2007 @ 8:17 AM

After having lived in Florida, the first thing I thought about when
seeing that this person was an FSU student is that the guard is a UF
fan=-) Obviously this is a theory, but UF and FSU is probably one of
the biggest college rivals. I could certainly see a cocky security
guard deciding that he was going to embarrass the OP in front of his
girlfriend and mess with his head. Instead, the OP didn't give in
when ASKED if the guard could search the drinks. If the guard had the
right to search the bottles, he should have worded things differently
"I will need to search your drinks prior to you entering the park."
He could also have explained that this was private property. Instead,
if things happened exactly the way the OP wrote about them, it's as if
the guard was looking for an excuse to throw them out. Most likely
the OP didn't handle things as well as he could have, although given
the circumstances as outlined here, I would have been a bit agitated
myself. I may have given in when asked to hand over the Sprite
bottles, although I would certainly not look ill upon someone who
didn't give in.


by Somebody! Posted Wed October 17, 2007 @ 7:51 AM

I think it is a shame that a person can't even walk across a parking
lot with a soda without being hassled by some "law enforcement
professional". I know several real police, and when you talk to them
off the record, so to speak,or take a citizen's academy class, you
will find that they can find "probable" cause to do just about
anything they want to as far as searching and traffic stops go. To
extend this power to rent-a cops is insane.


by olie Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 10:33 PM

You had a hotel room and a girlfriend, yet you "had to pay additional
money to find something else to do that night"???? 80 bucks'

I think you need some imagination.

That aside--you did not benefit from your undergraduate education.
Your typing and grammar are atrocious. Before you go further at
Florida Law, you should find some basic grammar classes, and learn to
use SpellCheck.

I agree with others' opinions. There's quite a bit we're not hearing

by Peregrina Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 8:14 PM

Profiling and Fourth Amendment aside, I think both you and the bike
cop behaved poorly. You are a young adult who acted like a spoiled
child and the bike cop is a professional that let his ego get in the
way of doing his job.

That's just my take based on this letter, since we won't ever know the
full story, that's all I've got.


Those are fair assumptions by ~♥Pepe-Le-Pew♥~ Tue October 16, 2007 @ 8:23 PM

Fair except by ColoradoCOP Tue October 16, 2007 @ 8:27 PM

Settle down by ~♥Pepe-Le-Pew♥~ Tue October 16, 2007 @ 9:01 PM

Actually by ColoradoCOP Wed October 17, 2007 @ 12:04 AM

Your comment by ~♥Pepe-Le-Pew♥~ Wed October 17, 2007 @ 12:26 AM

My bad, Adam by Peregrina Wed October 17, 2007 @ 12:40 AM

Well said by ColoradoCOP Wed October 17, 2007 @ 1:07 AM

There you go, making assumptions by Peregrina Wed October 17, 2007 @ 1:16 AM

One more thing to add. by ColoradoCOP Wed October 17, 2007 @ 11:37 AM

by LadyMac Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 7:13 PM

This is a fine example that having a little bit of knowledge is a
terrible thing.

Fourth Amendment anaylsis, as noted below, doesn't come into play
because this is private property. Your admission ticket is a license
to use their facilities and it can be revoked at any time, at the
discretion of the licensor.

This is not the Mendenhall case. You clearly were free to decline the
search and there was no one forcing you to submit to a search. Sounds
to me like the bike officer asked you twice and both times you

If you want to use their facilities, you have to play by their rules.
The problem is that when you declined to submit to a search, they
opted to declined to let you in.

As for the profiling comment, if this were indeed a Fourth Amendment
analysis, I would direct you to the Whren case which held that
subjective considerations of the officer play no role in ordinary
fourth amendment analysis, provided the stop could be objectively
justified. In other words, it doesn't matter what you look like and
it doesn't matter if there was "profiling:.

Sometimes you have to pay for sticking to your principles. Was it
worth it?


Perfect response, as usual! by S. Brown Tue October 16, 2007 @ 7:58 PM

The only thing I disagree on... by TwinkleToes Tue October 16, 2007 @ 11:06 PM

Considering by LadyMac Wed October 17, 2007 @ 8:41 AM

by Tom S. Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 5:16 PM

Only a first year would beat his chest and proclaim to know all there
is to know of Constitutional rights while so blatantly misapplying the
Fourth Amendment.

You were on private property. Case law is well established that the
Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and
seizures DO NOT apply to a private property and its security guards.
They restrict a governmental entity's actions. The park had the right
to inspect your drink while you were on its property. You chose to
cop an attitude instead of complying. Now you have found out that the
park also can bar you from its property.

That you now are proclaiming to be a law student will not cause the
park's executives to quiver in their shoes. It only will give the
attorneys for the park a nice chuckle when they read your letter. I
know I certainly had one.


Great Comments! by S. Brown Tue October 16, 2007 @ 5:44 PM

Excellent Observations by Applejacker Tue October 16, 2007 @ 6:07 PM

private property BUT by rebekahsue Tue October 16, 2007 @ 11:00 PM
by mts05e Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 4:37 PM

I would like to clarify some elements of my mishap at halloween horror
nights. I was not driving reckless, acting biligerant, drinking in an
abnormal fashion, or giving any other indications of consuming

I am perfectly aware that Universal Resorts is private property, and
they have the right to create their own legal boundries as seen fit by
state and federal guidelines.

I was not out of line to the guard, but I am sure I was abrassive due
to enduring bumper to bumper traffic for seven hours.

I do notice that my writing gives off the impression that I am the
typical "Frat Boy/Rich Kid" that wears penny loafers and polos. I am
not arrogant in the least and I did not give off that vibe to the
security guard. I get zero money from my parents, and I work for
every single thing I have.

My big problem is that I was approached within three feet of getting
out of my car. I was planning on finishing my drink and throwing it
out in the trash can less than 20 feet away. The guard also
approached us in a very hostile manner. Of course I was mad, who
wouldn't be? If I was with a family, or if I was older this would not
happen. Second off, I do not want some security guard touching,
smelling, or breathing on my drink!

I also appologize for throwing around the words profiling and
stereotyping, I see how ridiculous that sounds, that's just how I felt
about the situation. I also brought up that I am in law school, not
to sound threatening, but to show that I am not some "dumb kid"
causing a scene, but a student that knows a little about my rights.


I'm with you! by rachelr Tue October 16, 2007 @ 4:48 PM

Again.... by ColoradoCOP Tue October 16, 2007 @ 5:34 PM

Huh? by S. Brown Tue October 16, 2007 @ 8:06 PM

Ya know by Rhet Canter Thu October 18, 2007 @ 7:33 PM

I don't see anything wrong... by Andrew 1 Sun October 21, 2007 @ 4:45 PM

by Ahsha Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 1:48 PM

I find it difficult to believe you were banned for a year just for
this. Surely there is more to the story. You must have argued or
gotten upset or something!
Why didn't you just let the guard smell your drink? That would have
settled everything. We live in difficult times and security is
everywhere. I don't see that you were unduly targeted, after all the
security guard was already there. he didn't follow you.
Your college student knowledge of the law and threats of causing
monetary losses to Universal will not work. They don't scare that
easily. Banning two people from the park is serious business. They
will not rescind the ban just because of your family and friends.

by S. Brown Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 1:34 PM

The facts:

We are only hearing the OP's side of the story.

Millions of people visit Universal Studios every year and I'm sure
many of them enter the parking garage with open canned beverages.

If people were being banned for a year left and right because of false
allegations by the security staff, don't you think it would have been
all over the news and we would have heard more complaints? Universal
is in the business of making money and can only do so when people
enter the park, so the fact that this guy and his girlfriend were
escorted off the property puzzles me.

We'll never hear Universal's side of this story therefore it's
difficult to know what really happened.

However, all the OP's claims about constitutional rights, profiling,
probable cause, etc. lead me to believe that we need a whole lot more
information before taking sides on this one.


by BellaSera Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 1:26 PM

I now think the OP was in the wrong. I found this on

"Private Security Checks: Private security personnel have a right to
search you as a condition of entry into private property, for example.
It is up to the individual to decide if a search is worth the price of
admission. As long as you are free to walk away, the security
personnel do not pose a threat to your constitutional liberties."

The section also goes on to state: "And at the present time the Fourth
Amendment does not apply to searches carried out by non-governmental
employees like private security guards."


Thanks.. by Harleycat Tue October 16, 2007 @ 1:45 PM

I have been to Universal by TwinkleToes Tue October 16, 2007 @ 3:27 PM

It may very well be.. by Harleycat Tue October 16, 2007 @ 3:30 PM

Here's the way I read this section. by BellaSera Tue October 16, 2007 @ 4:23 PM

Well... by TwinkleToes Tue October 16, 2007 @ 11:23 PM

I'm not saying I like it any more than you do. by BellaSera Wed October 17, 2007 @ 8:45 AM

by dottiejean28 Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 12:59 PM

I have to agree with the OP in a few ways here. First I don't think
anyone had a right to search his drink IN A PARKING GARAGE! I could
see if they wre going through the turnstyles and were asked about the
contents...then the OP sould have gave in and be searched...but in a
parking garage for goodness sakes?? Having said that however,

I have a few questions myself for the OP if I may.

1. Were you consuming the beverages at time of questioning? I sk only
because if its a closed container and obviusly says soda or whatever
on it, then there is no probable cause for them to search.

2. If you were drinking the soda, were you acting in a way that the
officer might have suspected inebriation? Weer you driving recklessly
and whipped into the parking space on two wheels?

3. Are you SURE you and your girlfriend didnt do that so obnoxious eye
roll sigh and tounge click combination of disrespect? I know young
college kids, i was one myself a decade ago, we all get po'ed when the
"man" "hassles" us.

by TwinkleToes Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 12:36 PM

I'm with the OP on this one. Since when does anyone have the right to
search you in a parking lot?? I have been to Universal and have never
seen signs stating you may be searched. Had the guard been concerned
that they were under the influence he should have contacted the
police. He was a security guard and had no authority to arrest
anyone. Additionally, it isn't as if you leave the garage and walk
right into the park. You have City Walk to wander through and I would
think it is normal for people to bring drinks with them as they shop
and walk around there as it is quite large.

Dramatics aside, I agree with the OP. He was wrongfully searched.


Let me clarify... by TwinkleToes Tue October 16, 2007 @ 12:37 PM

However.. by Harleycat Tue October 16, 2007 @ 1:14 PM

Theres the key phrase. . . by MA Loper Tue October 16, 2007 @ 2:18 PM

How would you feel by TwinkleToes Tue October 16, 2007 @ 3:23 PM

Apples to Oranges.. by Harleycat Tue October 16, 2007 @ 3:47 PM

Agreed Harley! by MA Loper Tue October 16, 2007 @ 4:34 PM

Where do you draw the line? by TwinkleToes Tue October 16, 2007 @ 10:54 PM

I agree by nibs Wed October 17, 2007 @ 12:06 PM

But it's a matter of "picking your battles" by MA Loper Fri October 19, 2007 @ 11:37 AM

Maybe the walking down the street thing by TwinkleToes Tue October 16, 2007 @ 11:03 PM

Parking Garages.. by Harleycat Wed October 17, 2007 @ 10:02 AM

You've changed my mind yet again, Nichole by RedheadWGlasses Tue October 16, 2007 @ 12:57 PM

Lol by TwinkleToes Tue October 16, 2007 @ 3:15 PM

wrong by T. C. Tue November 6, 2007 @ 9:16 PM

by ColoradoCOP Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 12:12 PM

I think you better drop out of your Law School bud. You were on
private property. Therefore, they can search your Sprite if they want
too! Every time I got to a sporting event, and take a drink w/ me,
and get searched, I don't whip out my badge, why, because it is their
rules! They were probably being reasonable, w/ you, until you got all
high and mighty w/ them. You prob. deserve what you got.


by S. Brown Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 11:46 AM

Seems to me you had a choice in this situation - - either simply let
the guard check your Sprite can or pull the "I'm a law student and
have constitutional rights and you are profiling me and my girlfriend
and in my opinion don't have probable cause". You chose the latter
and it obviously didn't work in your favor.

As other posters have said, there has to be more to this saga and I,
for one, would love to hear Universal's side of the story.


by MA Loper Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 10:32 AM

If you are truly a law student, then you already know that a company
is not going to open themselves up to charges of false imprisonment or
illegal search and seizure just to prove a point over some Sprites.

I have a hunch that there is more to this story, like the part where
you did or said something to the bik cop that got him ticked off
enough to ban you and cite you for trespassing.

Furthermore, as a law student, you should also know better than to
post details of a dispute for public review.

And the whole I'll tell 2 friends and they'll tell 2 friends bit?
That never works. Number one, you're probably only doing Universal a
favor by getting your friends not to go - at least they won't have to
deal with more college kids with attitudes.

And secondly , regardless of how much your family CLAIMS to spend at
Universal, it is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things.
There are MILLIONS of people passing through their gates every year.
Believe me when I say, they won't miss you or your family's money.


by BellaSera Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 10:13 AM


I'm no lawyer (and I don't play one on T.V.), but from the way I
understand probable cause and reasonable suspicion, the OP MAY be in
the right here (but I'm only saying "may"). The way I understand PC
and RS is that there has to be reasonable suspicion that a crime has
been committed, which unless the OP was stumbling around acting drunk,
the guard didn't have grounds to search the OP.

My understanding though could be mitigated by other factors. Where's
LadyMac when you need her?

(By the way, I'm ignoring the whole
rk spiel. That really takes away from this letter.)


I do believe... by Harleycat Tue October 16, 2007 @ 10:31 AM

That's the mitigating factor. by BellaSera Tue October 16, 2007 @ 10:57 AM

I think.. by Harleycat Tue October 16, 2007 @ 1:11 PM

I found information that supports your statement. by BellaSera Tue October 16, 2007 @ 1:42 PM

I don't think "probable cause" comes into play on private property by RedheadWGlasses Tue October 16, 2007 @ 12:24 PM

by Harleycat Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 8:33 AM

Since alcohol is not allowed, I believe they can check for it. Their
website says that certain items are not allowed in the park and that
bags, etc will be checked so actually the guard did have a right to
search your personal possessions.


Unless... by Casmly Wed October 17, 2007 @ 7:54 AM

I'll modify what I said by Casmly Wed October 17, 2007 @ 8:01 AM
by Mike Holly Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 4:41 AM

The guard was doing his job. You did not cooperate and that is why you
and your gf were thrown out. Stupid college kids!


Mike by Rated Argh Tue October 16, 2007 @ 1:09 PM

actually.. by Angelic Princess:) Tue October 16, 2007 @ 4:08 PM

by donno Posted Tue October 16, 2007 @ 1:04 AM

All you had to do was hand the guy your Sprite. It would have been
over in a minute. Instead you get into all this stereotyping and
profiling and emotional distress (give me a break) stuff. Since your
family has been such BIG SPENDERS I can't believe they didn't
recognize you immediately.

You can see how far your constitutional rights take you. Will they
help you get your money back? All you had to do was cooperate.
Instead you get to brag to everyone how you stood up for your rights.


You are a shining example of what is wrong with people by rachelr Tue October 16, 2007 @ 4:40 PM

Wow... by Max Power Tue October 16, 2007 @ 7:13 PM

But.. by Harleycat Wed October 17, 2007 @ 8:37 AM

True but by Max Power Wed October 17, 2007 @ 10:00 AM

The difference.. by Harleycat Wed October 17, 2007 @ 11:09 AM

by Gino Posted Mon October 15, 2007 @ 10:01 PM

I meerly hope they teach language and spelling in Florida State Law
Student Class for numerous of reasons. This would make a great lesson
for your fellow classmates, it could get you some brownie points with
the teacher as well!

by Angelic Princess:) Posted Mon October 15, 2007 @ 9:37 PM

::shakes my head::.. if you weren't difficult, it would have been
fine! But noooooooooo...


yes, but why should he cooperate? by Michelle O Tue October 16, 2007 @ 12:15 AM

The key here is the phrase . . . . by S. Brown Tue October 16, 2007 @ 2:14 PM

Nicely said, Michelle. n/t by Max Power Tue October 16, 2007 @ 7:14 PM

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