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.