Man Claiming to Have Bomb Shuts Down California Theme Park

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A wide shot nighttime photo of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier in California.

Credit: Pacific Park

A man forced Pacific Park in California to shut down yesterday afternoon after claiming to have a bomb. Police and numerous law enforcement officials arrived to de-escalate the situation.

The sun setting on Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier in California.
Credit: Pacific Park

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Pacific Park – The Theme Park on the Santa Monica Pier

The theme park incident occurred in Pacific Park in Santa Monica, California. It’s the only amusement park on a United States West Coast pier. There are several roller coasters and attractions, including a giant Ferris wheel where guests of all ages can have fun and enjoy themselves while taking in the scenery around them.

There are also games, including Ring Toss, Wac-A-Mole, and Water Race. There are plenty of dining experiences for guests as well. Each weekend, there are also live performances throughout the theme park. There’s also a play area for children. The theme park is free, but each ride costs a different price, ranging from $5 to $12 per person. For folks looking to ride an unlimited amount of time, wristbands can be bought for the entire day. The theme park is usually open from noon until 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. on the weekends.

pacific park on the Santa Monica pier in California.
Credit: Pacific Park

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Man Scales Ferris Wheel Claiming to Have a Bomb

According to an official news report from, a man scaled the Ferris Wheel yesterday afternoon, claiming to have a bomb. The theme park incident occurred early afternoon, around 3 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time).

Witnesses heard the man mention having a bomb before he began to scale the Ferris Wheel at Pacific Park. The man was repeatedly told to come down but refused, which is when the theme park contacted local law enforcement officials.

Riders were stuck with the man on the Ferris Wheel throughout the incident. Police crisis negotiation teams attempted to speak to the man once they arrived. Police did mention they were not worried or concerned about the man having explosives inside the backpack he held throughout the incident.

The rest of the theme park was quickly evacuated as police arrived. Police crisis negotiators worked with the man for over an hour to get him to surrender and come down safely from the Ferris Wheel. At around 4:30 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), the man agreed with the crisis negotiators and climbed back down, where he was quickly taken into custody.

A daytime shot of the inside of Pacific Park in the Santa Monica Pier in California.
Credit: @pacpark on X (formerly Twitter)

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After police officers apprehended the man, they told KTLA that they believed the man had a mental illness or mental health crisis and did not believe the man had committed any crimes. As previously thought, the man was found not to hold any explosives inside his backpack.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and were seen using a lift to reach multiple people stuck on the Ferris Wheel with the man throughout the ordeal. However, according to news sources, no one from the Ferris Wheel was evacuated by the lift. Firefighters waited until the situation was resolved before allowing guests to escape the attraction safely. No one was injured or harmed throughout this entire theme park incident.

The famous Santa Monica Pier is an amusement park that has existed for some time. Not too far from Los Angeles in Southern California, the location offers 12 thrilling rides (Pacific Parks signature rides), delicious food, prizes, and unlimited ride wristbands for a company picnic or corporate events while taking in the historic Santa Monica Pier. The spectacular views, cool prizes, midway games, and the 12 amusement rides make this a fun destination for you and your loved ones.

There were no other updates regarding the man and the situation yesterday afternoon. Follow Inside The Magic for more details as they are available to the general public.

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