Charges: Man arrested after threatening to blow up neighborhood

TACOMA, Wash. -- A 42-year-old Tacoma resident was arrested Wednesday after apparently spending the past few weeks yelling at children and threatening to "blow up the whole damn neighborhood," according to charges filed Thursday with Pierce County Superior Court.

According to the charging documents, two neighborhood children, ages 12 and 14, were walking to school when Jose Mercado started yelling at them from his upstairs window.

When the children's mother came outside to see what was happening, she noticed a telescope in Mercado's window that was apparently pointing at her children's bedroom window.

When she told Mercado she was calling police, he said he was going to "blow up the whole damn neighborhood," according to the charging documents. It was reportedly not the first time he has made that threat.

Neighbors told police Mercado has spent the past few weeks threatening children and other neighbors. One neighbor later told officers he was concerned Mercado was serious about his continuing bomb threats.

Before officers could respond to Wednesday's incident, Mercado reportedly called 911 himself, saying the children were threatening him with weapons. According to the charging documents, the children had already left the area on their way to school.

Officers arrived and arrested Mercado, who had an 8-inch knife in his pocket and threatened to sue the officers, according to the charging documents. He reportedly told officers he suffers from PTSD, and neighbors needed to leave him alone.

Mercado was charged with making a threat to bomb or injure property.