Device similar to pipe bomb explodes at Disney
Walter Pacheco | Sentinel Staff Writer 11:14 AM EDT, July 2, 2007
Orange County deputies found a "low-level crude device" resembling a pipe bomb in a dumpster at a Downtown Disney parking lot early today.
Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary said the homemade device blow the doors off a dumpster in the popular tourist spot.
"Our investigators found end caps, which usually indicate a pipe-bomb-like device," said Beary at a news conference this morning. "We believe this was not designed to cause significant property damage or injuries."
Beary said security at Downtown Disney has been increased not just because of the suspicious incident, but also because of the recent terrorist activity overseas.
"Once we saw things unfolding in the U.K. and Glasgow, and the fact that it's July 4 th, we increased security," said Beary.
He added that "this is not connected to any sophisticated plot, either domestically or internationally.
A Disney employee told deputies that at about 12:30 a.m. he heard a noise and saw smoke coming from a dumpster in a remote part of Downtown Disney, according to a sheriff's office press release. When deputies arrived, they secured the area and later reported no damage or injuries.
Earlier news reports speculated that the package was a pipe bomb; however, deputies are not releasing any other information until the press conference.
Downtown Disney is a popular spot frequented by tourists and locals for its shopping and entertainment, but last week, some of its security policies came under fire.
Walt Disney World on June 27 ejected four of Florida State University's top football prospects - including the son of a Disney manager and the son of a Philadelphia civil-rights lawyer - from Downtown Disney under its anti-gang, no-loitering policy and banned them from entering the theme parks for life.
After Disney officials were questioned about security and the use of racial profiling to target and drive out minority youth, they decided to revise the trespass warnings so that the four are banned only from Downtown Disney for one year.