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Man Arrested at L.A. Times Building

July 30, 2002

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Police arrested a man who threatened to blow up the Los Angeles Times newspaper building, but found only paper documents in his backpack after his threat evacuated a square block in the heart of downtown.

Despite the evacuation, the presses kept rolling and Tuesday editions were published on time.

Frederick Bernard Cheaves, 31, was taken into custody shortly before 10 p.m. Monday after a 4 1/2-hour standoff. Cheaves, a transient from Los Angeles with an outstanding warrant for marijuana possession, was booked on a single felony charge of criminal threat with intent to harm.

Negotiators spoke with the man for more than an hour before SWAT officers moved in.

The newspaper combined its Los Angeles, Ventura County and San Fernando Valley editions into one section to meet the main press run and continued to produce its Orange County edition at another office. The newspaper’s Tuesday circulation is just under 1 million.

Editors decided to run a 350-word article about the standoff inside the second section, said managing editor Dean Baquet.

``It’s caused a great inconvenience for us, but it’s not a huge story in the scheme of what happened in the world today,″ Baquet said.

It appeared the man picked the Times building at random. Lt. Horace Frank, a police spokesman, said the man had never been an employee of the newspaper.

It was not immediately known how many people fled, but employees said nearly everyone, except people in the editorial department, had gone home when the call to evacuate came.

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