Man facing trial in Liberty Bell threat

March 11, 2013 at 5:19 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, March 11 (UPI) -- A former assistant professor who was arrested for saying he had a bomb during a visit to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia will stand trial, officials said.

Carlos Balsas, 41, of Tempe, Ariz., was ordered held for trial Friday for the January incident, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

During a hearing at the Criminal Justice Center, Liberty Bell security screener Edwin Haury testified Balsas told a screener who was searching his bag he was carrying a bomb, but took off before being apprehended.

Park Ranger Layla Schade testified six U.S. park rangers spotted Balsas nearby and arrested him after a small struggle.

Balsas was charged with making bomb threats, possessing an instrument of crime and making a false alarm for the incident.

"After 9/11, to walk into a national monument and claim to have some sort of terroristic device or explosive and expect members of the National Park Service to not react very swiftly and overwhelmingly is just absurd," said Assistant District Attorney W. Robert Frantz Jr.

"If it was a joke, it was probably the worst possible joke that I don't think left anybody laughing," he added.

Balsas, who is originally from Portugal and was formerly an assistant professor at Arizona State University, is being held on $250,000 cash bail.

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