A former college professor allegedly threatened to blow up the Liberty Bell during a recent trip to Philadelphia, NBC 10 reports.
Carlos Balsas, 41, declined the request of Liberty Bell Center security guards who asked him to check his bag before visiting the iconic American artifact. As the guards examined his backpack, the former Arizona State University professor and Tempe, Ariz., resident made a chilling claim.
"I have explosives in there," Balsas told the security guard, according to Philly.com.
When Balsas walked away, the guards notified U.S. Park Rangers and circulated a description of Balsas. Authorities apprehended him moments later, following a brief struggle.
Bomb squads found no explosives, ABC 15 reports.
Balsas is a former associate professor of urban planning at ASU. He also once led an initiative to revitalize parts of Phoenix. He is charged with making bomb threats and terroristic threats, reckless endangerment and related offenses, CBS Philadelphia reports.
Security at the Liberty Bell was increased following an incident in April 2001, when a hammer-wielding Nebraska man dented the landmark.