At least two businesses, including the Marietta Daily Journal, evacuated Wednesday after a note was left in a parked car claiming it was rigged with a bomb and demanding $10,000 to defuse it.
A photo of the note showed it reading: "NOTICE OF EXPLOSIVE INSTALLATION" at the top, followed by an explanation.
"It has been modified to explode on contact. A nominal fee of $10,000 will be collected at time explosive charges are removed."
Police later said the man, 70-year-old Gary Studenic, told law enforcement it was "all a private joke between two friends."
He was arrested and charged with reckless conduct.
The friend, Richard Calhoun, also spoke with detectives. He was not arrested.
As a result of the note, the Cobb County Police Department bomb squad came to the scene and conducted a "thorough inspection of the suspect vehicle."