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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Disneyland employee arrested in Toontown explosion and security theater overreaction

Visitors tour Toontown at Disneyland in 2003. (Los Angeles Times / September 22, 2003)

By Andrew Blankstein
May 29, 2013, 11:33 a.m.

A 22-year-old Disneyland employee has been arrested in connection with the detonation of a so-called dry ice bomb in the park's Toontown, Anaheim police said Wednesday.
Long Beach resident Christian Barnes, an outdoor vending "cast member," was booked on suspicion of possession of a destructive device and is being held in lieu of bail of $1 million.
The explosion in a trash can on Tuesday evening forced the evacuation of Toontown. No one was injured, but the explosion caused some brief chaos in a portion of Disneyland popular with young children.
"Barnes is cooperating with investigators and has indicated this is an isolated incident with unanticipated impacts," Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said.
Police described Barnes as a vendor who peddled sodas and water on a mobile cart. They did not give a motive for the incident, which did not cause any significant damage.
"We take matters like this very seriously and are working closely with local authorities," Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said in a statement.
The dry ice appeared to have been placed in a plastic bottle that was left in a trash can in Toontown. The explosion was confined to the can, according to the Anaheim Police Department.

It does not appear to be connected to similar dry-ice explosions in Anaheim in recent months, Dunn said.
The mixture exploded about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, forcing officials to evacuate people from the area for two hours, police said.
"You wouldn't expect situations like that coming to a place like this. That is crazy, that's wild," said West Covina resident Jonathan Rosario, who was at the park with a toddler as music to the "It's a Small World" echoed in the background. "It reminds us we all need to do our part to be safe."

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