Performance artist arrested after threat at Boston Marathon finish line
A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being blamed on a twisted stunt by performance artist Kayvon Edson.
An area close to the marathon’s finish line was evacuated Tuesday night after a suspicious bag was left there by a man in all black who left yelling “Boston Strong!”
Police bomb squad experts were immediately called in and blew up two unattended bags “for precautionary reasons.”One suspicious bag had been mistakenly left behind by a news crew covering Tuesday’s memorial event, but the other is believed to have been a prank by self-styled New York performance artist and fashion designer Edson. He told police it contained a rice cooker filled with confetti.
The 25-year-old was charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and possession of a hoax device.
The controlled explosions came hours after the city marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon bombings in which three were killed and more than 260 injured.
Witnesses first reported the suspicious bags and “a barefoot man acting strangely and repeatedly yelling Boston strong” around 7 p.m. Tuesday on Boylston Street.
Officers threw up a perimeter and evacuated the area before the first bag was detonated around 9pm, and the second at 9:30pm.
Edson’s Facebook page shows he studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and now designs his own line of clothing.
Yesterday he changed his Facebook cover image to a picture of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev which read, “Had a blast at the marathon!!!” He tagged the image with “Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzokhar Tsarnaev is innocent.”
Edson has also made several YouTube videos and is a blogger. In a lengthy, self-promoting video (below) he describes himself as a “fashion designer, an entrepreneur, a performance artist, a mental patient, a blogger/bloggerist, a jailbird, a college dropout and a drag queen.”
Many extreme comments were left by Boston residents attacking Edson’s apparent stunt and claiming he was “twisted.” One read, “Are you slow? That is not funny. Get a life and a heart. You are a sick evil person,” and another “There’s a special place for people like you, and it’s not in Boston.”
Earlier in the day, survivors of last year’s bombing and supporters gathered at the finish line to remember the victims in a ceremony, including Vice President Joe Biden.
Boston will host the first race since the tragedy on Patriot’s Day April 21.