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A member of the bomb squad inspects an object after a controlled detonation at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Police have blown up two unattended backpacks found near the Boston Marathon's finish line on Tuesday. They say they've taken a man into custody in connection with them. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Man charged with marathon hoax is held on bail
First Published Apr 16 2014 08:23 am • Last Updated Apr 16 2014 02:54 pm

Boston • The man arrested near the Boston Marathon finish line carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker was sent to a state psychiatric facility for an evaluation Wednesday after an initial court appearance.

Kevin "Kayvon" Edson, 25, was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital and ordered held on $100,000 bail at an appearance in Boston Municipal Court on charges of threatening battery, possession of a hoax explosive device, threats to commit a crime, disturbing the peace, disturbing a public assembly and disorderly conduct. He’s due back in court May 7.

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Edson was arrested Tuesday hours after ceremonies to mark last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, in which two pressure cooker bombs hidden in backpacks exploded, killing three people near the finish line and injuring more than 260 others.

The backpack incident rattled nerves days ahead of this year’s marathon. Police kept people away from the finish line area for about three hours Tuesday and trains bypassed the nearby Copley Square station.

Edson, with addresses in Boston and Wakefield, was stopped late Tuesday after passers-by told an officer they saw him yelling, walking barefoot down the middle of a street, veiled in black, in pouring rain. His face was painted yellow and blue, the traditional colors of the marathon, police said. The street was open to pedestrians at the time, and police said his presence was not a security breach.

The backpack was destroyed. Police determined that its contents were not explosive.

According to a police report read aloud in court, after Edson was read his rights, he told an officer: "I knew what I was doing, it was conceived in my head. It’s symbolism, come on. The performance got the best of me."

In a statement, his family said, "Our family is so sorry and emotionally overwhelmed by the events at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday. To have this happen on the one-year anniversary of such a horrific crime is unfathomable."

Edson’s mother, Joie Edson, said her son has battled bipolar disorder for many years and his mental state has recently deteriorated.

A second suspicious backpack also was found Tuesday. Officers determined it had been left behind by a media outlet and was not dangerous, but it too was destroyed.


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"With the marathon coming, our officers are taking it seriously," police Superintendent Randall Halstead said. "The safety of the public is utmost."



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