Lady  Justice 16-9

A woman who held authorities at bay on the steps of the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles last month, allegedly claiming to have a bomb, pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Holly Lorraine Melton, 44, faces federal counts of threatening federal law enforcement officers, perpetrating a bomb hoax and making threats affecting interstate commerce.

A June 22 status conference was scheduled before U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald.

Melton remains in custody, with no bond set.

Melton, whose hometown was not released, was detained after an hours- long standoff with police on May 20.

The Federal Building was evacuated after the woman, who was carrying a backpack, allegedly claimed she had a bomb in the lobby, then shouted at officers as she sat outside near the front door, prompting the standoff.

A police bomb squad was dispatched to the scene, but no explosive device was located.

Streets around the building were closed, creating traffic problems in Downtown’s Civic Center.

Witnesses told reporters that the woman was yelling at officers and holding her hand as if she was carrying a detonator.

Police tried to speak to her and at one point used a bomb-squad robot to take a telephone to Melton as she sat in front of the building. Police eventually used a bean-bag gun to subdue her, and she was taken away in an ambulance.

—City News Service

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