Ex-Disney World worker caught after threatening to bomb Magic Kingdom castle, cops say

·3 min read
John Raoux/AP

A former Walt Disney World worker has been caught more than two years after threatening to bomb the Magic Kingdom’s iconic Cinderella Castle in Orlando, Florida, police and border officers say.

Canadian resident Matthew Carney, 22, was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers (CBP) at the Ogdensburg Port of Entry, which connects Canada and New York, on May 16, a news release said. He is currently in the custody of the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office in upstate New York.

When CBP officers inspected Carney, they learned he was a “fugitive” who “had an outstanding felony warrant out of Florida” issued by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly making “a bomb threat to Disney World staff,” according to the release. He was trying to enter the U.S. from Canada, CBP spokesman Mike Niezgoda told McClatchy News in a statement.

In July 2019, Carney is accused of repeatedly telling Disney security “I have a bomb and I am here to blow up the castle,” according to an Orange County Sheriff’s Office police report obtained by McClatchy News.

As a result, he was charged with threats to throw, project and place a destructive device, the report said. It listed him as “at large” when it was filed.

The alleged 2019 incident involving Carney began when a Disney World theme park security officer reported Carney walked through the park’s metal detector, without setting it off, and said “its ok if I brought a bomb in,” according to the police report.

The officer “asked him to repeat what he said” and accused Carney of reiterating “Yeah, I’m going to blow up the castle,” the report said. It described the park’s castle as “a symbol of the Magic Kingdom.”

Then, the officer brought Carney over to her manager and Carney is accused of repeating the bomb threat to the manager, according to the report. The security manager said “Carney had a straight face, was not laughing and appeared to be serious while making these statements.”

Afterward, Carney’s pockets were searched and two cell phones were found, including one considered “not operable,” the report said.

“Based on my training and experience of more than 14 years of law enforcement, I know that a cellular device is capable of detonating a previously place device, remotely,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputy who wrote the report and searched Carney noted.

Carney was arraigned in Ogdensburg City Court after his arrest, held without bail and is now “in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility awaiting extradition proceedings,” St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Sean P. O’Brien told McClatchy News in a statement.

O’Brien did not comment on whether Carney would be transferred to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

CBP said he worked at Walt Disney World when he was accused of making the bomb threat. This detail was not specified in the police report and an Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson declined to confirm whether Carney formerly worked for the park.

McClatchy News reached out to Walt Disney World for more information on Carney’s former employment.

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