Kevin Kayvon Edson: Finish line hoax suspect sent for mental evaluation

boston kevin kayvon edson finish line
Kevin Kayvon Edson after his arrest for allegedly using a hoax device near the Marathon finish line.
Credit: Suffolk district attorney’s office

The college art student accused of running down Boylston Street carrying a large backpack and screaming “Boston Strong” on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings allegedly told police “the performance got the best of me.”

Kevin “Kayvon” Edson, 25, of Wakefield and Boston, was ordered held on $100,000 bail and was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a competency evaluation. He was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Wednesday on charges including making a false bomb threat, possession of a hoax device and disturbing a public assembly.

Edson, who is currently enrolled at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, appeared in court wearing blue hospital scrubs. A court doctor who evaluated Edson on Wednesday recommended he be sent to Bridgewater for further evaluation, that he has a history of psychiatric disturbances and that he has been off of his medication for about three or four months.

Edson allegedly ran barefoot up Boylston Street dressed entirely in black at about 7 p.m. Tuesday shouting “Boston Strong,” according to court documents and witnesses who posted pictures on Twitter. He was also wearing blue and yellow streaks of paint under his eyes, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said Edson was stopped by police who were helping a group of survivors cross the Marathon finish line after making the trek from Hopkinton to Boston on Wednesday. Officers asked him what was in his backpack and he said there was a rice cooker.

“Your honor doesn’t need me to tell you the symbolism of the rice cooker on the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings,” said Assistant District Attorney Susan Terrey.

Police cleared the area, called in the bomb squad and moved Edson to the nearby Boston Public Library where they questioned him. He told them it was a non-explosive device, authorities said, and indicated he was doing it for a “performance.”

“He also stated to [officers] ‘I knew what I was doing. It was being conceived in my head. It’s symbolism. Come on. The performance got the best of me,’” Terrey said.

Edson’s attorney requested he be held on $5,000 bail and suggested that the high bail prosecutors sought was “simply based on the sensitive nature or the sentiment of what’s happening in the city of Boston.”

“What he needs is some medical stabilization,” his lawyer said.

The incident shut down Boylston Street near Copley Square for hours and halted Green Line MBTA service between Haymarket and Kenmore stations. The Green Line eventually resumed full service later Tuesday night.

Edson’s alleged actions caused outrage on social media in part because they came on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three people and injured about 260 others.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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