LARGO, Fla. — Authorities say a man claiming to have a bomb prompted the evacuation of a Florida restaurant, though the man later said he was joking.

A Largo police news release says 48-year-old Freddie Bryant was arrested Thursday and charged with making a false bomb report.

A manager at the Largo Mall Red Lobster called police Thursday afternoon, saying a man told a hostess, “Just to make you smile, I work for the Taliban, and I have a bomb in this bag.”

The release says the man, later identified as Bryant, then asked for a booth near a window, and he and a woman were seated. Police arrived and evacuated the building. Officers stopped Bryant while he was leaving, and the Tampa bomb squad determined there were no explosives in his bag.

Jail records didn’t list an attorney for Bryant.

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