Kevin Edson: Actions in Bomb Scare Were 'Performance'

Edson, a MassArt student, was charged with creating a bomb scare in Boston Tuesday on the anniversary of last year's fatal bombings.

Kevin Edson at his arraignment Wednesday. Credit: WHDH/7News
Kevin Edson at his arraignment Wednesday. Credit: WHDH/7News
Kevin Edson, the man authorities said caused a bomb scare on Boylston Street on the anniversary of last year's fatal Boston Marathon bombings, said his bizarre actions were a "performance."

Edson, who also goes by "Kayvon," was arrested Tuesday. Police said he was staggering down Boylston Street barefoot in the rain, wearing a black veil and carrying a backpack with a rice cooker inside, while yelling "Boston Strong." He can be seen in an Instagram video posted by a bystander.

"It was being conceived in my head. It was symbolism ... the performance got the best of me," Edson said, according to his lawyers, WHDH/7News reported.

Edson was held on $100,000 bail after appearing in court Wednesday, WHDH reported.

In last year's marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260, the explosive devices were pressure cooker bombs, authorities said.

Edson was charged with possession of a hoax explosive device and disturbing the peace, among other charges.

Edson, 25, was living in Boston, according to Boston police. He was a student at MassArt and has ties to Wakefield, according to WHDH.

Police detonated his backpack, along with another backpack that reportedly belong to a member of the media.

Edson's brother, TJ, posted this message on Facebook:

"What he did at the finish line earlier today is absurd and shameful. It should not be considered art or condoned in any way. Do not play into that. He is a sick person with multiple diagnoses. Unfortunately, no consequences of his abnormal behavior were dire enough for him to shape up before he thought something like this could get him that fame he always chased. Ultimately, he is a disillusioned and very sick individual. I apologize to anyone that takes offense to his actions as his brother. My family has done all we can to foster Kevin's mental health. He is an artist. I am an artist. I understand that much. Thank you God that he did not hurt anybody."

Boston police released the following statement on Edson's arrest:

At about 6:50 PM on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, officers from District D-4 (South End) on-sited a disturbance in the area of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets near the Boston Marathon finish line.

Officers standing post for added security during the Norden brother's 26.2-mile walk commemorating the one-year anniversary of last year’s tragic Marathon Bombings were made aware of a barefoot male approaching the finish line on foot, yelling and screaming and causing many people in attendance at the event to notice his actions. At that time, the area was open to pedestrians and the general public; however, vehicular traffic on Boylston Street from Exeter Street to Dartmouth Street was being diverted to an alternative route to accommodate the event.

Officers made their way to the direction of the disturbance and observed a white male wearing all black, no shoes, and a veil and hat covering his face. The officers also observed that the male was yelling and screaming and carrying a backpack. Officers were able to stop the male safely and make a brief inquiry of him. During this interaction, officers removed the veil and hat and observed blue and yellow face paint on the male’s face. Officers also learned that the male’s backpack contained a rice cooker.

Officers immediately separated the suspect from his backpack, removed the male from the area, and made the area safe by evacuating onlookers at the event. The Boston Police Bomb Squad responded, performed a controlled detonation of the backpack, and rendered the area safe. The specialists determined that the contents of the suspect’s bag had not been explosive in nature. A second backpack found unattended in the same vicinity was also detonated by the bomb squad and deemed to be non-explosive. This bag was later determined to be the property of a local media outlet.

Twenty-five-year-old Kevin Edson of Boston was arrested and charged with Threatening Battery, Possession of a Hoax Explosive Device, Threats to Commit a Crime, Disturbing a the Peace, Disturbing a Public Assembly, and Disorderly Conduct.

The Boston Police Department wants to remind all those attending the Marathon and the events leading up to Monday’s festivities that, while backpacks and strollers are not prohibited, they will be subject to search. Behavior causing a disturbance to others in attendance will be promptly investigated.

Ongoing coverage


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