Police charge man over Liberty Bell threat

The cracked Liberty Bell, in Philadelphia, is seen as a symbol of America's quest for independence.

Story highlights

  • Arizona man charged in threat to blow up the Liberty Bell
  • Police say a bomb squad was called in but found that the bags did not contain explosives
  • The bell is considered an iconic monument to American independence

An Arizona man accused of threatening to blow up Philadelphia's Liberty Bell was charged Sunday, police said.

Carlos Balsas, 41, of Tempe, Arizona, is charged with terroristic threats, bomb threats and several other offenses, police spokeswoman Christine O'Brien said. Prosecutors approved the charges and will take up the case Monday, she said.

It was unclear whether Balsas had retained an attorney.

Authorities say Balsas claimed to have explosives as he entered the historic site. Later, two black backpacks were found in front of the Liberty Wheels wheelchair and scooter rental shop in downtown Philadelphia.

Police said a bomb squad was called in and secured the scene but found that the bags did not contain explosives.

"I have no idea why" the man allegedly did this, O'Brien said.

The bell is considered an iconic monument to American independence.

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