Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A 43-year-old man in the audience of a courtroom of the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles was arrested Friday after he stood up and shouted that he had a bomb, authorities said.

John Edward Watson of North Hollywood allegedly made the threat about 9:40 a.m. in Department 32 of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center at 210 W. Temple St., said Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

Watson was immediately detained by a sheriff’s deputy with the assistance of a Los Angeles Police Department officer who was also in the courtroom, Navarro-Suarez said.

The third floor of the courthouse was evacuated, according to the sheriff’s department.

The Sheriff’s Arson and Explosives Detail responded along with a dog from the sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau and inspected a small box with electronic equipment inside and determined it was not a bomb, Navarro-Suarez said.

According to the building’s security office, operations had returned to normal by around 11 a.m.

Watson was arrested on suspicion of making a false report of a bomb and criminal threats and was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, Navarro-Suarez said.

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