Disneyland Cast Member Arrested in Toontown Blast

"He just made a little mistake," father of suspect says

By Jonathan Lloyd and Rosa Ordaz
|  Wednesday, May 29, 2013  |  Updated 10:33 PM PDT
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Christian Barnes, 22, was arrested Wednesday after dry ice exploded inside a Disneyland trashcan the evening before. Barnes' father defended his son, saying authorities are

Angie Crouch, Lori Bentley

Christian Barnes, 22, was arrested Wednesday after dry ice exploded inside a Disneyland trashcan the evening before. Barnes' father defended his son, saying authorities are "making a big deal out of nothing." Angie Crouch reports from Anaheim for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 29, 2013.

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Dry Ice Explosion Forces Disneyland Evacuations

Authorities evacuated Toontown after dry ice inside a bottle exploded in a garbage can near the Disneyland attraction. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 28, 2013.
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A Disneyland outdoor vending cast member was arrested in connection with an explosion involving dry ice at the Anaheim theme park that led to an evacuation and bomb squad investigation.

The explosion, possibly caused by dry ice in a water bottle, led to an evacuation Tuesday afternoon of the park's Toontown area.

Police identified the suspect as 22-year-old Christian Barnes of Long Beach. He was booked on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, according to Anaheim police.

The suspect indicated the explosion was "an isolated incident with unanticipated impacts," according to a police news release, which stated Barnes was cooperating.

Barnes, who was arrested while at work on Tuesday night, is being held on $1 million bail. He is pictured below in a photo from Facebook that was verified by Barnes' brother.

Raymond Barnes Sr., the suspect's father, told NBC4 that his son has never been in trouble and has no criminal record, adding "you couldn't have a better kid."

"It's just a little ice - hot ice. They're making a big deal out of nothing," Raymond Barnes said. "I'm sure when the smoke clears, they'll see he's just like any other person that just made a little mistake."

Christian Barnes' brother said the suspect had worked as a food vendor at Disneyland for about a year.

Police said the circumstances were "unfortunate" and are glad no one was injured in the small explosion.

"However, this is a crime and we're investigating it as a crime," Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said. "We will continue the investigation and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

Disneyland issued a one-sentence statement.

"We take matters like this very seriously and are working closely with local authorities," said Suzi Brown, director of media relations and external communications for Disneyland Resort.

Visitors at the park described the explosion as sounding like a gun shot and "loud boom." Disneyland employees then escorted visitors from the area.

"When officers arrived, they were directed to a trash can and found remnants of a water bottle, which is indicative of a dry ice explosion," the Anaheim Police Department said in a press release Tuesday that included Barnes' booking photo, shown below. "They also found there were no injuries or damage as a result and the rest of the resort remained in full operation."

Toontown reopened late Tuesday.

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 NBC4's Angie Crouch and Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.

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