Thursday, 4:30 PM
Supporters rally outside court for men charged with hoax
By John R. Ellement and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
About a dozen artists and other supporters rallied outside Charlestown Municipal Court this morning in defense of the two men charged with placing battery-powered cartoon characters throughout the city that touched off fears of bombs and terrorism.
Most of the supporters held computer printouts fashioned in the same design as the guerrilla adverting campaign that sparked the panic. The signs included Wednesday's date -- 1-31-07 -- and had the words "Never Forget" beneath one of the characters from the Cartoon Network television show.
Sage, 35, one of the supporters who described herself as an artist but declined to give her last name, said that Turner Broadcasting Systems, the parent company behind the marketing blitz, is the real culprit.
Turner "didn't think this advertisement through," Sage said, standing outside court. "The people who are suffering, they are innocent, they are innocent people."
Police last night arrested Peter Berdovsky, 27. The artist, originally from Belarus, told the Globe earlier in the day that he installed the signs for an ad firm hired by Turner Broadcasting. He faces up to five years in prison on charges of placing a hoax device in a way that causes panic and disorderly conduct.
His lawyer and friend, Michael L. Rich, said he hoped in court today to get Berdovsky's bail reduced and "end this craziness."
A second man, Sean Stevens, 28, of Charlestown, was arrested at about 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Stevens was also charged with placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct.
Both suspects are scheduled to be arraigned today.