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Brookline police detective arrested in Florida after altercation with Disney World staff

The Brookline Public Safety Building. Photo by Zoe Zekos
February 8, 2024

A Brookline police detective was placed on paid administrative leave after being arrested during an altercation at Walt Disney World in Florida last month.

Duane Danforth, a 14-year-veteran of the department who was named its “officer of the year” in 2021, was charged with battery and resisting arrest after he allegedly shoved two Epcot staff members and a deputy sheriff during the Jan. 30 incident, according to an arrest affidavit filed in an Orange County court.

According to the affidavit, Danforth, 39, who was “belligerent” and apparently intoxicated, was stopped by Epcot staff members while trying to enter a roped-off private event.

Danforth yelled “I’m going to [expletive] kill you” twice before shoving the two staff members, according to the report. The incident was captured on video by bystanders, who later showed it to a deputy sheriff.

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Deputy Sheriff Dagoberto Almeida said that Danforth “intentionally struck me by pushing me away with his hands as I tried to communicate with him,” according to the affidavit.

The deputy “redirected [Danforth] to the floor,” where he continued to “push away,” the affidavit says.

Danforth was treated at nearby Doctor Phillips Hospital for minor injuries before being transported to the county’s Booking and Release Center. According to court records, he appeared on Jan. 31, represented by a public defender, and was held on bond, which he paid.

Danforth has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to Brookline Police Department deputy superintendent Paul Campbell.

“Detective Danforth will remain on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation into that incident,” Campbell said.

Michael Keaveney, president of the Brookline Police Union, said the union will work with the department on the investigation.

“Despite Detective Danforth’s many years of outstanding service to our country and community, we also recognize that no person is perfect,” Keaveney said in a statement. “We believe that one single instance of alleged misconduct should not overshadow his otherwise exemplary service to Brookline and our country.”