The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

October 22, 2013

Ex-professor acquitted in Liberty Bell threat case

PHILADELPHIA — A former Arizona State University professor has been acquitted of allegations that he threatened screeners at Philadelphia’s iconic Liberty Bell by telling them that he had explosives.

Forty-two-year-old Carlos Balsas had been in custody in lieu of $250,000 bail since he was arrested Jan. 26 on a felony bomb threat charge near Independence Mall.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says Common Pleas Court Judge Diana Anhalt acquitted Balsas on Monday.

Balsas, a Portuguese citizen, called it a misunderstanding, saying he told the screener, “I have a bunch of exclusives” – a literal translation of the Portuguese word for personal property.

Prosecutors said Balsas had never offered that explanation before.

Anhalt said she would have convicted Balsas of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but he wasn’t charged with those offenses.

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