Kayvon Edson: Suspect Will Appear in Court After Marathon Finish Line ‘Hoax’

The 25-year-old Wakefield man’s stunt caused a stir on an emotional day in Boston.

Image via YouTube

Image via YouTube

A 25-year-old Wakefield man will appear in Boston Municipal Court to face charges in connection to a hoax that involved carrying a bag with a rice cooker toward the Marathon finish line on Tuesday night, not long after survivors of last year’s bombings commemorated the one-year anniversary of the attack.

A self-described “performance artist,” Kevin “Kayvon” Edson faces a list of charges, including possession of a hoax device, threat to commit a crime, and disturbing the peace.

According to police, and video captured of what appears to be Edson, the suspect was seen walking barefoot toward the finish line just before 7 p.m. on Tuesday, shouting “Boston Strong” while wearing a black veil over his face. Edson was allegedly carrying a backpack, which he later discarded near the awning at the finish line. When police asked him what was in the bag, Edson reportedly told them, “a rice cooker.”

Police said at the time of Edson’s arrest that there were two bags located at the scene. One belonged to Edson, but the other bag was later determined to be the property of a local media outlet. For “precautionary reasons” special units from the department’s bomb squad were called in, along with a robot to inspect the items, and the bags were detonated, setting off two loud booms, about an hour apart, not far from where the attacks occurred last year. “The specialists determined that the contents of the suspect’s bag had not been explosive in nature,” police said.

Edson had listed himself as a student at MassArt on Facebook, but as news spread late Tuesday night, and his identity was revealed on national news outlets both online and on television, the suspect’s profile suddenly changed. Edson is now listed as a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, according to his page. Officials from the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office said Edson is listed as having a residence in Mission Hill, however.

The settings on his Facebook profile—it includes a photo of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, with the words “he had a blast at the marathon”—were also changed as more news about Edson became available. The suspect’s profile went from public, to private.

On a separate page, a person who claimed to be the suspect’s brother posted a message on Facebook calling Edson’s actions at the finish line “sick”:

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.

While his Facebook page was blocked, videos of Edson were still viewable on YouTube as of Wednesday morning. In one of the videos posted to an account with Edson’s name, he can be seen wearing what appears to be the same black veil that he had one while walking down Boylston Street on Tuesday night.

Edson’s stunt happened not long after brothers J.P. and Paul Norden, who both lost a leg last year as a result of the bombings, walked across the final stretch of the finish line with family and friends, to celebrate their year-long recovery efforts.

After Edson was arrested for causing a scare near Copley Square, the Nordens’ uncle, Peter Brown, posted a message to the suspect on the family’s official Facebook support page:

Today was another eye opener for my nephews, family, and friends. In fact, I think it’s fair to say, we have endured enough already. For those unfamiliar to what I am saying, what would have been an unbelievable time, we were once again affected both in person and mind but some evil, emotional, sinister hating asshole who likes to play games of terror, days before the actual marathon…You put my nephews, family, friends and my daughter in harms way during your little spineless stunt tonight. You also wasted police officers time and created havoc for no apparent reason.

Brown thanked the Boston Police for their quick response in detonating the devices, and apprehending Edson. “You are once again the vanguard and leaders in a very proud career, made up of fine men and incredible women,” he said.

Edson’s arraignment in court comes the same day that prosecutors meet with Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team for a conference status hearing at the Moakley Courthouse in South Boston. Tsarnaev is not expected to be present during that court session, however.

  • Paula

    How about not giving him the “exposure” he is looking for by providing your readers with links??

    • Ellen B

      No links needed when you’ve got the name of an attention-seeker. I, unfortunately, needed little linking. Mutual “friends” with my Massart student daughter. She’s not impressed with this classmate’s “art.”

  • johnny patrick

    The ACLU, JDL, etc. etc.and most liberals will back his entertainment style. ‘Twisted’ 1st amendment freaks. I myself would send him to a war zone as a ‘bomb poker’. Poking bombs with a stick to see if they work.

    • Ellen B

      I’m glad you said “most,” even if that’s still an exaggeration. As a dedicated leftie, with a daughter at MassArt, I find this “performance” completely reprehensible. He should pay back every dime it costs to deal with his stunt, and publicly apologize for those frightened or triggered by it all.

      A truly creative person could make a statement without abusing the law and trampling on the emotions of so many people.

      • johnny patrick

        Ellen B…your Heisenberg logo is tell-tale to your allowance of what YOU perceive to be okay. Its a liberal thing. The Heisenberg/Meth thing tramples alot of emotions too – all the people who have lost their loved ones to meth. I could go on for pages here and you would not understand my point. That show did about one episode that showed the real truth – a young family destroyed by meth leaving a child alone – the rest was a gay romp of ‘art’ and ‘entertainment’. When you and your MassArt person stand in line for hours to see the Christ figure in a jar of urine just remember your trampling on the emotions of millions of Christians- but your not breaking the law. Your president is making a statement without abusing the law or trampling the emotions….blah blah. Let’s wait and see if some liberal jurist or office will give this guy a stern warning and a scholarship to MassArt. A helping hand so-to-speak – from our pockets to yours.

        • Ellen B

          Apparently I have to re-word my reply for Boston Magazine. Hopefully it will stand because you’re still generalizing. I wouldn’t stand in line to see ANYTHING in a jar of urine. And your Breaking Bad argument indicates you think I’m talking about free speech. I’m not.

          I’m not dissing this guy because he wants to speak out. Let him speak all day long – no matter how much I disagree. What he did was not simple speech. It was action. Costly action. Could I spray paint a slogan on my own home? Sure. But if I spray paint it on yours, that’s a crime.

          When my “MassArt person” paints, nobody gets scared, nothing has to be detonated and it doesn’t cost the taxpayers in law enforcement dollars. And our little debate isn’t hurting anyone or costing anything, either. If we were out in public, exchanging punches, that would be another story. Get the difference?

        • Gail Mahoney

          What this individual did is NOT art. Nor is it a reflection on MassArt anymore as what Ted Kaczynski did is a reflection on Harvard University. As far as you being offended by any photgraphs, there have been many times throughout the history or art where certain groups, religions, or classes of individuals have been offended or felt things were in bad taste. Take an art history class. No one is forcing you to go into any gallery to see any photographs. If you are offended, dont buy a ticket. If you want to live in a society where you won’t have to deal with anyones FREEDOM of expression I suggest you move to North Korea.

    • http://www.mymassachusettsdefenselawyer.com/ Matson Law

      Don’t be ridiculous. No one thinks this is clever or entertainment.

      It’s deranged, and only someone with mental health issues would think this is a good idea on any level.

    • jimbo jones

      If you think “liberals” back this sort of crap as entertainment you are almost as delusional as this guy is thinking that he is making art by mocking the suffering of others.

  • Boston Strong 23

    @johnnypatrick:disqus I’m a liberal from Boston and I hope this idiot gets killed in jail. Why do online comment streams always end up boiling down to Liberals vs. Conservatives? It does not make any sense, terrorism and making a mockery out of victims of terroism is universally considered bad, Not exactly a polarizing topic…

    • http://www.mymassachusettsdefenselawyer.com/ Matson Law

      Killed in jail, really? The kid clearly has major mental health issues, and ultimately didn’t hurt anyone.
      Hopefully he can get on some meds that help him.

      • Boston Strong 23

        Knee jerk reaction, apologizes. I hope he gets beaten to a pulp in jail.

        • Saros7

          Haha, wow, I’m surprised how angry people over these artists over an actual terrorist

      • Marianna Mansfeldova

        Why you think he has mental health issue? Sure he has a mental issue, everybody who act as him, everybody who want to kill has mental issue, so stop playing on the mental issue and let the system put him in the jail and let him rotten there, he does not deserve live among us.

        • http://www.drugpossessionlaws.com/ Drug Possession Laws

          Someone who would think is either a prank or “art” would almost have to have serious cognitive issues with what is appropriate in society.

          And his family confirmed it.
          “Our son Kevin has been battling mental issues for several years. His illness has caused himself and our family years of anguish that is unimaginable. His multiple mental health issues, including the diagnosis of BiPolar Disorder, are a constant battle realized by multiple hospitalizations and close psychiatric treatment.”

          • Marianna Mansfeldova

            Sorry but people with mental issue don’t suppose to be allowed free. How could human with mental issue go to college? If this is true, then he does not have mental issue, because mentally sick people could not fully concentrate! And if the family knows and have years of anguish that is unimaginable, why they allow their son running free????

    • Stephen Tower

      “I hope this idiot gets killed in jail.”

      What a great humanitarian you are.

  • Earl Henson


    55 second mark he is driving a car. How did he get possession of a driver’s license? His own brother wrote “Ultimately, he is a disillusioned and very sick individual. He is a sick person with multiple diagnoses.”

    • deeeeeeeeeeeeez

      He probably took the licensing test like everyone else. Mentally ill people are still allowed to drive cars.

  • Saros7

    So the guy is an artist, so what? Freedom of Speech right? That gives any artist an artistic license, pfft, get over yourselves, plus it was just a rice cooker (that probably had no power to actually cook or turn on) oh and he wore a veil so he knew it was more of a memorial gesture than a threading one.

    • lglnurse

      Are you freakin’ serious? I don’t think the Boston Bombers were looking for an electrical outlet! They blew up the rice cookers….don’t need electricity to do that. Artistic license does not give you the right to be an asshole and create havoc and pain for people.

  • Stephen Tower

    The disturbing the peace charge is rock solid, and the possession of a hoax device charge probably as well. The threat to commit a crime charge wont ever see a courtroom. The guy will probably get like a year, maybe two, and several years probation, unless the DA pleads him to a lesser charge (unlikely given the publicity of the case). That sounds about right to me. A couple years in prison will put a quick stop to this crap.

  • David Rego

    I can’t wait for April 22nd.

  • AF

    ANYONE defending this evil, attention seeking creature is literally just as bad as he. The Norden brothers (who both lost a leg) had JUST crossed the finish line and had to be evacuated the exact same way they were last year due to this pigs stunt. Those of us who were actually effected from the bombing – ya know, those who were blown up, lost a child, a limb, their vision, hearing, & rest of us who got away unharmed then had family / and ourselves trapped inside our homes for hours until they found the younger psycho? Are trying to heal. A lot of us will NEVER be able to heal (just able to move on) – and after what those sickos pulled, you’re going to stick up and make excuses for some disgusting slob who not only uses the terroists picture (and says the “hottie” is innocent) but brings a rice cooker to the finish line!?! You should all be ashamed of yourselves, no matter what your political views are. 100% horrified.