*The Disneyland employee accused of carrying out the dry-ice explosion at the theme park on Tuesday, May 28, has pleaded not guilty.
Christian Barnes, 22, entered his plea from his cell at Orange County Jail via a videotape arraignment, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was ordered to be held on $500,000 bail, which is half of the original amount.
Authorities said a first explosion took place around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Toontown. They believe that after Barnes set off the first blast, shortly after his shift ended, he put a second water bottle filled with dry ice into a trash can before leaving Toontown.
The area was evacuated as police officers and a bomb squad investigated the scene. Toontown was reopened around 7:30 p.m. that night.
Barnes was booked “on suspicion of possessing a destructive device” hours after the blast.
“He’s the nicest person I know,” his grandmother Flora Barnes, one of several family members present, told LA Times reporters on Thursday, May 28. “He’s a wonderful kid. He’s a kid who wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
On Wednesday, May 29, Disneyland spokesperson Suzi Brown told The Hollywood Reporter: “We take matters like this very seriously and are working closely with local authorities.”
A police news release on Wednesday morning stated: “Barnes is cooperating with investigators and has indicated this is an isolated incident with unanticipated impacts.”