Disneyland employee pleads not guilty in dry ice bomb explosions

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Christian Barnes

Christian Barnes

LOS ANGELES (CNN) — A Disneyland employee pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony possession of a destructive device in a public place during an incident where two water bottles with dry ice exploded in the theme park, authorities said Thursday.

Christian Isaiah Barnes, 22, of Long Beach, California, was arraigned Thursday, and his bail was set at $500,000, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office.

His next court date is a pretrial hearing on June 7, Emami said.

The charge against Barnes carries a maximum prison sentence of six years, the district attorney’s office said in a statement.

Barnes, an employee at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, allegedly possessed two water bottles containing dry ice — which can make for a destructive device called a dry ice bomb, the prosecutor’s office said. The devices caused small explosions in Disneyland, authorities said.

On Tuesday, Barnes was being relieved of his shift at a Disneyland vending cart outside Mickey’s Toontown, prosecutors said. When Barnes opened the vending cart, the first water bottle with dry ice exploded, the prosecutor’s statement said.

Then Barnes allegedly took the second water bottle from the cart and, as he walked to the employee break room through Toontown, allegedly placed it in a trash can, prosecutors said.

Barnes allegedly left the area, and a custodian removed the trash bag and placed it on the ground, prosecutors said. The custodian walked away from the bag to clear another trash can, and then the water bottle in the bag exploded, authorities said.

Visitors were cleared from Toontown for about two hours as authorities investigated, though the rest of Disneyland remained open.

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