BOSTON (CBS) – A Wakefield man was ordered held on $100,000 bail Wednesday on several charges connected to a bomb scare at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Tuesday, hours after memorial tributes there.
Read: Edson Family Statement
Kevin Edson, 25, who also goes by the name Kayvon Edson, is charged with possession or use of a hoax device and making a false bomb threat. If convicted, those carry up to five and up to 20 years in state prison, respectively, according to Jake Wark, the spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley.
Edson, who also has an address in Mission Hill, is also charged with disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, and disturbing a public assembly. All are misdemeanors carrying minimal jail time or a fine.
He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Boston Municipal Court.
Edson, according to police and witnesses, was barefoot, wearing blue and yellow face paint and a long black veil while screaming “Boston Strong” in the middle of Boylston Street at 6:50 p.m. Tuesday. It was a short time after the city marked the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.
At the time, the area was open to the public, but the street was still closed to traffic.
When Edson was stopped by officers, police say he told them he had a rice cooker in his backpack. That’s when the area was evacuated, the bomb squad was called in and Edson was arrested. Bus and subway service was also suspended.
The bag was detonated as a precaution.
A source told CBS News that the rice cooker in the bag was full of confetti.
A court psychologist said Wednesday that Edson has a history of psychiatric problems, but he has been off his medication for months.
Edson’s family elaborated on that in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.
Prosecutor Susan Terrey said Edson told police he knew what he was doing, calling the incident “performance art.” Edson is a student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.
He was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and is due back in court May 7.
“If this was a performance, it was the most irresponsible, senseless, and selfish performance I can imagine,” Conley said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“It was also criminal. It was akin to shouting ‘fire’ in a theater. People were put in fear, public transportation was disrupted, and a day of somber remembrance and reflection was marred by this defendant’s choices. There could not have been a worse time or place for this inexcusable behavior.”
Edson’s brother TJ posted this message on Facebook after the incident:
I ask for those of you who know my family to take a moment to pray for myself, my sister, my mother, and my father. My dad is an American Hero. The kind of man you hate to see on his last legs sick with cancer. But that is the reality. It is stressful enough as it is.
Another reality is that my brother is a different kind of sick. 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 Commissioner Bill Evans said Wednesday that there will be more security and bike patrols on Boylston Street the next few days due to the bomb hoax.
MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON