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Former Massachusetts Officer of the Year charged after allegedly shoving Disney World employees, deputy

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A Massachusetts police detective was arrested at Walt Disney World last month for allegedly shoving a deputy and threatening to kill staff members while intoxicated and holding a child, reports say.

Duane Danforth, 38, has been charged with battery, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer without violence. The incident happened Jan. 30 at Epcot, according to an Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit.

Danforth is a detective with the Brookline Police Department in the Boston metropolitan area and was off duty at the time of his arrest, the department’s police chief confirmed to FOX 35 Orlando. He has served on the police force for 14 years and was Officer of the Year in 2021, the New York Post reported. 

The arrest affidavit says deputies responded to the United Kingdom Lochside event space in reference to a battery. When they arrived, they met a staff member who was working a private event who said a man tried to enter the area but was told to go around. That man, later identified as Danforth, allegedly returned and attempted to remove some ropes.

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Duane Danforth’s booking photo. (Orange County Corrections Department )

“I’m going to f—— kill you,” Danforth allegedly told the staff member twice before pushing the staff member aside. 

A second staff member witnessed the confrontation and said Danforth “had a crazy look in his eyes and appeared intoxicated” while holding a young girl in his left arm. He also reported being pushed by Danforth.

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Duane Danforth Brookline ceremony

Officer Duane Danforth during a Town of Brookline ceremony in 2013. (Town of Brookline Facebook)

Epcot guests reportedly got the scuffle on camera and shared footage with a Disney World convention guide coordinator, who shared it with deputies. 

Danforth is accused of pushing a deputy who tried to make contact with him. After the deputy regained balance, Danforth was taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs while allegedly resisting. 

Visitors walk into Walt Disney World Resort's Epcot theme park

The incident happened Jan. 30, 2024 at Epcot. (iStock)

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The affidavit said Danforth said he knew the deputy was a law enforcement officer and admitted he should not have pushed the deputy. 

Danforth alleges deputies approached him from behind prior to apprehension, but deputies deny that. 

He has been placed on administrative leave and will remain on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.



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