Violence Visits ‘Happy’ Celebration, Fla., A Town Created By Disney


Celebration, Fla., a community built 14 years ago by the Walt Disney Company as the happiest subdivision on earth, has been visited by two major crimes in less than a week, reports the New York Times. (The paper notes, though, that it has been largely free from urban strife.) Sheriff's deputies barricaded several blocks in the neo-traditional town of 10,000 people and miles of white rail fencing, trying to talk a despondent and armed 52-year-old man out of his home. After more than 14 hours, sheriff's deputies entered his home early Friday and found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Earlier, the schoolhouse near the town square was locked down. Buzzing helicopters interrupted horse-and-carriage rides. The situation, which a sheriff's deputy described as a domestic dispute involving a father who had lost a job and his marriage, was a tragic ending to a week that saw another violent death in Celebration. Sometime over Thanksgiving weekend, Matteo Patrick Giovanditto, 58, was murdered, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office said. It was the first murder in Celebration history.

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