Marathon Finish Line Hoax Suspect Held on $100K Bail, Sent to Hospital for Evaluation

A doctor said Kayvon Edson has a history of mental illness, and has been off of his medication.

Image via LiveStream

Image via LiveStream

Kevin “Kayvon” Edson, the Wakefield man accused of walking toward the Boston Marathon finish line Tuesday night, shouting, with a rice cooker in his backpack, was held on $100,000 cash bail and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital.

Edson, who was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Wednesday, is being charged with disturbing the peace, disturbing a public assembly, and disorderly conduct. He also faces charges for possession or use of a hoax device and making a false bomb threat, offenses that can carry up to five and 20 years in state prison, respectively.

Police said Edson walked barefoot to the finish line, wearing all black and a veil covering his face, and was shouting and screaming “Boston Strong” before he was apprehended. He had a backpack on him that was later detonated by a police bomb squad for safety reasons.

Prosecutors said in court that once Edson was detained by officers at the finish line, and subsequently questioned, he told police that he was aware of what he did, and that the stunt was part of a planned performance. “‘I knew what I was doing, it was conceived in my head. It’s symbolism, come on, the performance got the best of me,’” said Assistant District Attorney Susan Terrey, when describing statements allegedly made by the suspect.

Prosecutors called for Edson to be held on $100,000 cash bail. A defense counsel argued in court Wednesday that the bail amount was too high, and called for it to be lowered to $5,000. The judge sided with prosecutors, however, and also ordered that Edson undergo evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital.

“[This amount] is egregious and based on the sensitive nature and sentiments of what’s happening in the city of Boston,” said Shannon Lopez, the suspect’s defense attorney.

Edson agreed to speak with a doctor, prior to his court appearance Wednesday afternoon, who reported to the court that the suspect was off of his medications for roughly three months, and his actions may have been a result of that. The doctor agreed that Edson should be sent to Bridgewater State Hospital prior to his next court appearance on May 7. The same doctor said Edson has a history of psychiatric disturbances and has been hospitalized at least twice in the past.

During his court appearance, Edson moved his head in rapid motions while looking around the room, and showed little emotion as officials decided what bail would be set at.

Edson, who has described himself as a “performance artist” in videos posted to YouTube, attends the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In a statement posted on the school’s website, officials said they were aware of the suspect’s actions, and they were working with authorities to find out what happened.

“We will fully cooperate with authorities to gain all relevant information regarding this incident. The College takes these matters very seriously and holds people accountable for their actions should they be found responsible. We are committed to keeping our campus and community safe, secure and informed,” the statement said.

On Tuesday night, following Edson’s arrest, the suspect’s brother posted a note on Facebook indicating that his brother suffers from several diagnoses. Edson’s brother said the family does not condone his sibling’s actions, and called the situation “sick” and disturbing.

“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,” his brother wrote. “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.”