UK & World News

  • 16 April 2014, 19:52

Boston Hoax Suspect Sent To Psychiatric Facility

The man arrested for allegedly placing a fake bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon has been sent to a state facility to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Kevin "Kayvon" Edson appeared in court on Wednesday where a judge ordered him sent to Bridgewater State Hospital.

Edson is being held on $100,000 bail after he allegedly left a backpack unattended near the finish line just hours after ceremonies ended honouring the victims and survivors of the deadly 2013 marathon bombings.

He faces several charges including possession of a hoax explosive device, threats to commit a crime, disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct.

Edson was taken into custody after passers-by spotted him acting suspiciously.

Mobile phone video showed Edson walking down the street barefoot and dressed in black with a veil and hat covering his face.

He is heard shouting, "Boston Strong!", a phrase adopted by the city in the wake of last year's attack that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

Edson's mother, Joie Edson, told the AP news agency that her son has bipolar disorder.

According to a police report read aloud in court, Edson told an officer: "I knew what I was doing, it was conceived in my head.

"It's symbolism, come on. The performance got the best of me."

Police said Edson's face was painted with streaks of yellow and blue - the traditional colours of the Boston Marathon.

Police destroyed the backpack, which reportedly contained a rice cooker filled with confetti. The explosive devices in the 2013 attack where made using pressure cookers.

A second backpack found in the vicinity on Tuesday was also destroyed, but it was later determined that a media outlet had left it behind by mistake as police ushered people from the area.

The controlled explosions along Boylston Street rattled nerves days ahead of this year's marathon.

On Wednesday, marathon organisers and law enforcement officials urged patrons planning to attend Monday's race to leave their backpacks and other bags at home.

Officials also said they plan to limit the size of the crowd near the finish line this year.

The 26.2-mile race is expected to attract 36,000 runners and about one million spectators.

Race director Dave McGillivray said he believes Boston will be the "safest place on the planet" on Monday.