Orange County News
Disneyland employee pleads not guilty to dry ice explosions
ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- The 22-year-old man accused of setting off a dry ice explosion at Disneyland in Mickey's Toontown pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.
Christian Barnes, a Disneyland outdoor vending cast member, was charged with one felony count of possession of a destructive device in a public place. Several members of Barnes family came to court to show their support.
"He's the nicest person I know. That's my grandson," said his grandmother, Flora Barnes. "He loves his job, and he's a wonderful kid, never did anything wrong."
According to prosecutors, Barnes had two water bottles containing dry ice. When another Disneyland employee went to relieve Barnes from his shift at a vending cart located outside Toontown, he allegedly opened the vending cart, at which time the first water bottle exploded.
Barnes then allegedly took the second water bottle from the cart, and while passing through Toontown, he placed it in a trash can and left the immediate area. Several minutes later, prosecutors say a custodian was removed the trash bag and put it on the ground. As he walked to clear another trash can, the water bottle exploded.
Anaheim police and a bomb squad responded to the scene, while visitors were evacuated from Toontown. During the investigation of the second explosion, investigators found out about the first explosion.
Police identified Barnes as the responsible party, and he was arrested at the scene. The motive remains unclear. His bail has been lowered to $500,000. A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for June 7.
There were no reports of injuries from the two explosions, but some people reported ringing in their ears.
Disney is the parent company of ABC7.
amusement park, disney theme park, arrest, orange county news, eileen frere
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