A 25-year-old Massachusetts man was arrested on Tuesday evening after he placed a backpack containing a rice cooker at the spot of the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street. Edson, who was barefoot and wearing a black veil and makeup, allegedly admitted to police that he had put the backpack there.
According to a police report that was obtained by the Boston Globe, Edson told police that he simply got preoccupied with his dramatic performance.
“I knew what I was doing, it was being conceived in my head,” he reportedly said at the time of his arrest. “It’s symbolism. The performance got the best of me.”
The backpack created a frightening scene for Bostonians on the one-year anniversary of the tragic bombings that took place at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Police were immediately notified of the suspicious backpack and the entire Boylston Street area was evacuated. The bomb squad later detonated the backpack as a precautionary measure and found a rice cooker filled with confetti inside.
Edson was arraigned on Monday on misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace, disorderly conducted and disturbing a public assembly. He also faces felony charges of possession or use of a hoax device and making a false bomb threat.
A court mental health expert determined that Edson is an “intelligent man” with a history of hospitalizations for mental illness. Edson’s parents and sisters said he had not been taking his medication for the past three or four months. His family later released a statement addressing the incident.
“It’s a glorious event that embraces the spirit of friendly competioin and good will,’’ the statement said. “Crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon is a feeling of accomplishment that can not be described … Our family is so sorry and emotionally overwhelmed by the events that occurred at the finish line of the Boston Marathon”
The following video allegedly shows Edson before he placed the backpack on the ground.