NPS Tackles Man for Findng God

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Posted by Leech Lake Larry on January 19, 2002 at 21:16:46:

Nation: Liberty Bell vandal enters guilty plea

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (January 18, 2002 8:08 p.m. EST) - A man who attacked the Liberty Bell with a small sledgehammer pleaded guilty Friday to damaging an archaeological resource.

Mitchell A. Guilliatt, 27, entered the plea before a federal judge via video conference from his mother's home in Boise, Idaho, where he has been confined and electronically monitored since June. He faces up to six months in prison when he's sentenced April 23.

Prosecutors dropped a charge of attempting to injure federal property.

In the April 6 incident, Guilliatt pulled the sledgehammer from a backpack and struck the bell four times, shouting, "God lives." A National Park Service ranger tackled him.

The 2,080-pound bell sits on a pavilion outside Independence Hall. It was rung most famously to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776.

It has been rung rarely since a crack formed in the 1840s. Park officials have said Guilliatt's hammer dented and chipped the bell's surface.

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