Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Italian Tourist Allegedly Beats Child at Disney World

Dario Napolitano

Dario Napolitano

On June 30, the Napolitano family was enjoying a summer Saturday at Disney World’s Epcot Center, when the father, Dario Napolitano, started arguing with with his wife and children. Witnesses say they saw him turn his attention to his crying son, 3, who was sitting in a stroller, and kick the child in the face, the child’s mother all the while screaming, “No, no, no…” According to the arrest report, a Disney employee “went up to the child and saw that his face was bloody and the child was crying hysterically.” The child had a swollen left eye, with cut below it, and a bruise above the eyebrow.

Through an interpreter, Napolitano told a different story to police. He said it was the fault of the elder son, saying that “He [Napolitano] yelled at him [the older son] a second time to stop and he complied throwing [the younger son] out of the stroller on the ground. He went up to his son [the older son] and slapped him twice across the face because he hurt his brother.”

Napolitano was arrested and freed on $2,000 bail. Florida’s Department of Children and Families was called to investigate, but authorities do not know where Napolitano and his family are at this point. The family may already be headed back home to Italy, in which case Florida officials will have to work through Italy’s consulate and embassy to follow up on the question of the child’s welfare.

Napolitano, who is a doctor in Italy, checked his young son’s injuries, and told police that the boy did not need medical attention. In fact, both parents refused to seek medical attention for the child, so Florida officials have little documentation to support any claims of abuse other than this one, which could be seen as an isolated incident. In this light, unfortunately, the likelihood of Italy’s diplomatic corps taking an interest and following up on the case, is slight.

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