Officials Investigating Suspicious Bags Left Near Boston Marathon Finish Line
Boston Police took a man into custody Tuesday night after two bags were left unattended near the Boston Marathon finish line, causing unease on the anniversary of last year’s attack.
Officers from the Boston Police Department’s bomb squad unit were called to the scene of the finish line just before 7 p.m., moments after two survivors crossed over the threshold, capping off the day of remembrance that included a somber ceremony to commemorate the deadly 2013 bombings.
The area was cleared out and Boylston Street and surrounding roadways were closed to pedestrian access as special units investigated the suspicious packages with a small robot. The MBTA’s Green Line service was temporarily disrupted as the investigation into the two unattended bags continued.
Police conducted a controlled detonation of one of the bags around 8:45 p.m., which was loud enough to set off car alarms in the area. The second back was detonated nearly an hour later. Both devices were set off for “precautionary reasons,” officials said. Police did not immediately determine why the man was detained, or if he was being charged.
Ryan Schulteis, a reporter with 7 News, was covering the events at the finish line when one of the bags was left unattended beneath the photo bridge that crosses over the final stretch of the race’s route.
Breaking News:Boylston being shut down after a guy with a large backpack & bare foot came running to the finish line pic.twitter.com/Zv4QtKp7YH
— Ryan Schulteis (@RyanSchulteis) April 15, 2014
Schulteis said the man was coming the wrong way down Boylston Street screaming, “Boston Strong, Boston Strong.” He said the man was not wearing any shoes, and was carrying a large backpack.
Jennifer Eagan, another reporter with 7 News, who was on the scene, captured a video of the same man that Schulteis referenced in his tweets. The video shows the person marching down the street wearing all black, with a veil covering his face, as he shouts.
At this point police have not confirmed if the person with the veil is connected to bags that were left at the site of the finish line.
Not far from the scene and ongoing investigation, a vigil was being held at the Old South Church, to pay tribute to the first responders that risked their lives to come to the aid of the victims that were hurt during the April 15, 2013 attack, and remember those who were killed.
This story is developing, and we will continue to update it as more information becomes available.