Boston Marathon backpacks were destroyed today after police and Boston bomb squad members were called in to investigate the suspicious backpacks left near the finish line Tuesday evening. A barefoot pedestrian, wearing a black veil and dressed in the traditional colors of the marathon, has been arrested.
The Associated Press reported today that 25-year-old Kevin “Kayvon” Edson was arrested “near the Boston Marathon finish line carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker on the anniversary of the bombings” and had been “sent to a state psychiatric facility for an evaluation Wednesday following his initial court appearance.”
Edson reportedly had at least one backpack, and was wandering about the finish line in the rain, yelling “Boston Strong!” – the rallying cry adopted by Boston and the nation after last year’s marathon bombing that claimed three lives and injured hundreds.
Edson was quickly taken into custody, sources told WBZ-TV. He was arrested and charged with “disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and possession of a hoax device,” according to the news station. Boylston Street remained evacuated for several hours while police investigated.
The backpack with the rice cooker contained only confetti inside. A second backpack was found to contain photography equipment. Police are unsure if Edson discarded both backpacks or just the one. Between 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, police detonated both backpacks in controlled explosions.
Reports the NY Daily News: “In a YouTube video posted by Edson in 2012, he describes himself as ‘a fashion designer, an entrepreneur, a performance artist, a mental patient, a blogger/bloggerist, a jailbird, a college dropout and a drag queen.’”
Edson was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital and ordered held on $100,000 bail. The AP report states that 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.” Joie Edson, Kevin Edson's mother, said her son has bipolar disorder.