Police in California have arrested a 22-year-old man who allegedly left a toilet with a skull painted on it at a mall in the Los Angeles area “along with a note indicating the object was a bomb.”
Timothy Taratchila of Burbank has been charged with making a false bomb threat following the incident that forced the evacuation of the Americana at Brand shopping center Thursday night, according to the Glendale Police Department.
“On Thursday night at approximately 8:00 p.m., Glendale Police responded to a bomb threat at the Americana at Brand,” the department said in a statement. “Prioritizing public safety, the Glendale Police Department and Americana Security immediately initiated an area evacuation.”
Glendale Police say “an object resembling a toilet was left on the property, along with a note indicating the object was a bomb.”
An image released by police appears to show two skulls painted on the colorful toilet, as well as the word “attempt.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad was called in to investigate, and three hours later the scene was given an all-clear.
Investigators say they identified Taratchila by using witness accounts and surveillance footage.
“As the LASD Bomb Squad meticulously worked through their scene safety protocols, officers searched for the suspect,” the Glendale Police Department said.
He later was tracked down and brought into custody by the department.
“Thank you to our law enforcement partners, LASD, for their assistance with determining the device was safe and to the Burbank Police Department for assisting with locating the suspect,” Glendale Police added.
On its website, Americana at Brand describes itself as a “one-of-a-kind destination that offers a remarkable blend of shopping, restaurants, activities, movies, and entertainment.”
“Located just a short drive away from Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood, The Americana at Brand enjoys a unique and advantageous location,” the website adds. “Situated in close proximity to these iconic destinations, The Americana at Brand serves as a convenient center for both locals and tourists alike.”