Disneyland Employee Pleads Not Guilty to Dry Ice Explosions
ANAHEIM, Calif. (KTLA) — A Disneyland employee accused of setting off two dry ice explosions at the theme park pleaded not guilty on Thursday.
Christian Barnes, 22, of Long Beach, was charged with a felony count of possession of a destructive device in a public place.
Barnes was originally reported to have set off one bomb, but authorities revealed on Thursday that he allegedly had two water bottles containing dry ice.
The first bottle exploded in his vending cart, and a second bottle tossed into a trash can went off several minutes later, prosecutors said.
Barnes’ bail was set at $500,000, down from $1 million.
His next court appearance was set for June 7. He could face six years in prison if convicted.
The explosion in the trash can was reported around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Disneyland’s Toontown area.
There were no injuries and no damage reported, but it caused quite a commotion.
Parkgoers were evacuated from the area immediately, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad was called in to investigate.
“We’re not certain that he understood the full weight of what would happen when this did go off in those trash cans,” Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said.
“Is it possible that it was a prank? Absolutely,” Dunn said. “Are we investigating it as a crime? Absolutely.”
Barnes’ father, Raymond, told KTLA that he thought the whole thing was just “an unfortunate mistake.”
“He’s not someone that would do something to hurt anyone or anything like that,” he said. “He’s not violent at all.”
“They have a right to check into things thoroughly, and I understand that,” he said. “But when the smoke clears, they’ll see that he’s a very good kid.”
Disneyland officials said they were taking the matter very seriously and were working with authorities.