A man who was arrested after suspicious bags were found near the Boston Marathon finish line was arraigned today in Boston Municipal Court.
Kevin Edson, 25, of Boston is being charged with possession of a hoax explosive, threatening battery, threats to commit a crime, disturbing the peace, disturbing a public assembly, and disorderly conduct, according to the Boston Police Department.
Edson is being held on $100,000 bail and is being sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for an evaluation, the Associated Press reports.
Yesterday, on the one-year anniversary of the Marathon bombings, police evacuated the finish line area after two bags were found around 7 p.m. on Boylston Street. Authorities later executed controlled detonations of the bags.
Specialists determined that the contents of the suspect’s bag were not explosive in nature, according to Boston Police. According to NECN, the second bag belonged to its news crew, which had set it down and was unable to retrieve it when the area was evacuated.
Edson was taken into custody after officers at the scene saw him yelling and screaming as he walked down the street barefoot, dressed in all black with a hat and veil covering his face, according to Boston Police. Police also said Edson’s face was covered in blue and yellow paint and he told the officers at the scene that his backpack contained a rice cooker.
Edson was also captured on video, where he is seen marching down the Boylston Street chanting “Boston Strong.’’ According to MassLive, Edson is a self-described performance artist who may have been attempting some form of “art.’’ WBZ reports that Edson also goes by the name “Kayvon.’’
The Boston Globe’s Evan Allen reports that Edson made reference to a performance when he was approached by police.
When he was stopped by police he allegedly said "I knew what I was doing, it was being conceived in my head. It's symbolism... @BostonGlobe— Evan Allen (@EvanMAllen) April 16, 2014
...come on, the performance got the best of me— Evan Allen (@EvanMAllen) April 16, 2014
According to the Associated Press, Edson’s mother says he suffers from bipolar disorder. He has previously spent time in Bridgewater State Hospital for mental health evaluations and last year made a video in which he talks about his mental illness, The Boston Globe reported.
The Edson family today released a statement to The Boston Globe, saying they are sorry for the incident and called the timing with the Marathon bombing anniversary “unfathomable.’’ The note appears to be written by Edson’s mother, who said she and her daughter have run the Marathon six times for charity. The statement also describes the troubles the family has had in getting mental health care for their son, saying, “What is NOT strong is the mental health system in Boston, our state, our country, and the world.’’
Here is the full statement:
WBZ also reports that Edson’s brother posted a note on Facebook calling the incident “absurd and shameful’’ and saying Edson is “a sick person with multiple diagnoses’’ and his alleged actions “should not be considered art.’’
The incident occurred just hours after the city marked the one-year anniversary of the bombings with a series of tributes and ceremonies.