BAY LAKE, Fla. - A Massachusetts police detective was arrested at Walt Disney World last month after he allegedly shoved a deputy and threatened to kill staff members while he was apparently intoxicated and holding a child.
Duane Danforth, 38, was arrested and charged with battery, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer without violence after the incident that unfolded at Walt Disney World's EPCOT theme park on the night of Jan. 30, according to an arrest affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Danforth, a detective with the Brookline Police Department who was off-duty at the time of his arrest, has been placed on paid administrative leave, Police Chief Jennifer Paster said in a statement to FOX 35. He will remain on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the incident.
Brookline is a town in the Boston metro area.
Photo: Orange County Corrections
Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office responded to the United Kingdom Lochside event space in reference to a battery around 9 p.m. When they arrived, they met with a staff member who was working a private event and said a man, later identified as Danforth, tried to enter the area, according to an arrest affidavit. The staff member told Danforth he needed to go around, but he returned and allegedly began to remove the ropes.
"I'm going to f****** kill you," Danforth allegedly told the staff member, twice, before removing the ropes and pushing him aside, according to the affidavit.
A second staff member, who witnessed the scuffle, said Danforth "had a crazy look in his eyes and appeared intoxicated," the affidavit said. He added that Danforth "had a young girl in his left arm."
A Disney employee was called to the area, and several witnesses showed him videos they took on their cellphones of the incident, which show Danforth allegedly pushing staff members out of the way and storming through the crowd.
After the incident, other deputies were informed of the incident and were told to keep an eye out for a man matching Danforth's description. When a deputy tried to make contact with Danforth, he "intentionally struck" the deputy and pushed him away, the affidavit said. Danforth was eventually taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs, albeit multiple attempts to resist.
Danforth told the deputies that he knew the deputy was working as a law enforcement officer and said he "should not have pushed" him, the affidavit said. He also reportedly said that the deputies approached him from behind, which the deputies deny ever happened.
Danforth was treated at Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital for minor injuries and was released before being transported to the Booking and Release Center without incident. Danforth has since been released after his bond was reduced to $10, according to Orange County court records. Special conditions of Danforth's pre-trial release include not being able to return to EPCOT and surrendering his firearms and weapons, but he has been allowed to return to Massachusetts.