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Hoax? Boston police evacuate marathon finish line, detonate suspicious device

Published time: April 16, 2014 00:14
Edited time: April 18, 2014 10:37
Boston Police officers and a K-9 unit patrol the finish line of the Boston Marathon.(AFP Photo /  Jared Wickerham)

Boston Police officers and a K-9 unit patrol the finish line of the Boston Marathon.(AFP Photo / Jared Wickerham)

The Boston Police Department investigated two unattended backpacks near the finish line area of the city’s marathon. A man thought to have left one of the bags was taken into custody, though it appears to have been a hoax.

The Boston Police Department's bomb squad was sent to check the bags, and officers cleared the area around the marathon's finish line - at Boylston and Dartmouth Streets - at around 7 p.m. local time on Tuesday, according to local news outlets.

Police "disrupted" two of the bags for "precautionary reasons." At around 9 p.m., a bomb squad using a robot inspected and conducted a controlled detonation of a bag, a routine measure, according to reports. An additional detonation reportedly occurred at around 9:35 p.m.

A barefoot man wearing a black veil over his head yelling “Boston Strong” was wearing a large backpack at the scene before the area was cleared, according to reports. The man has been identified as Kayvon Edson, Boston's CBS affiliate WBZ-TV reported.

Witnesses say Edson left a bag at the finish line before running off. He was later taken into police custody.

WBZ-TV reported that Edson told police he was carrying a rice cooker in his backpack, prompting the bomb squad. Another source told WBZ-TV that the rice cooker in the bag was full of confetti.

Edson has been charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, and possession of a hoax device, according to WBZ’s Steven Bognar.

The second suspicious bag near the finish line belonged to a media outlet, according to CNN. Both bags were cleared by police.

Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of the bombings at the 2013 marathon which killed three people and injured around 264 others. The 2014 Boston Marathon will take place on Monday, April 21.

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