One of the most successful shows in the history of Broadway had to deal with a bit of drama recently, after their prop master was arrested for creating a gun in the theater.
One of the puppet masters for The Lion King was arrested after security found him creating a gun on a 3D printer that he had brought to the Minskoff Theatre. Security found the half-made gun on the printer, and ended up calling the police. After police arrived and conducted an investigation, they brought criminal charges against 47-year-old Ilya Vett.
According to the New York Daily News, Vett is a “puppet technician” for the Broadway production of Disney’s The Lion King. Security went into the room where Vett had been working and saw the 3D printer with a half-made gun sitting on it. That was when they contacted the police.
Officer James Taylor arrived and saw that the 3D printer was “powered on, moving, and in operation” this past Friday. Upon further investigation, police also found an SD memory card inserted into the side of the computer, containing the plans for making the gun — which Vett downloaded from a website.
Police said that the plans showed that the object being made “has a hand grip and a pointed, snub-nosed nozzle, and in between the two features, an empty space where it is customary for a cylinder holding live rounds of ammunition to be placed.”
Vett confirmed that he had indeed brought the 3D printer to the theater as his workshop was “too dusty” to conduct his work properly. He did say that he was making the gun with the printer, but it was to be presented to his brother as a gift.
“I was making the gun as a gift to my brother. He lives upstate and has a firearms license… There’s a website that has plans for the gun. I downloaded the plans onto the SD card in the printer.”
After his arrest, the puppet master was arraigned on a single count of attempted criminal weapon possession on Saturday night. Once his arraignment was completed, the police released Vett on his own recognizance.
Back in August, a federal court prohibited a company in Texas from sharing blueprints that could allow people to 3D print plastic guns. The belief is that the 3D printed guns would be untraceable, and capable of bypassing metal detectors.
As for the prop master for Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway, he will have to appear in New York Criminal Court on November 7th.