Police Close Boston Marathon Finish Line, Detonate Unattended Backpacks

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Police evacuated the Boston Marathon finish line earlier tonight after they discovered two unattended backpacks at the site of last year's bombings. Both bags were detonated by a bomb squad. One of the bags contained a rice cooker filled with confetti; the other contained photo equipment.

A man has been charged with possession of a hoax device, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace. He'd been wearing a black veil and yelling "Boston Strong!" on Boylston Street when he was detained. According to WBZ-TV's Peter Wilson, the suspect's name is Kayvon Edson, though a reader who knew him in high school says his name then was Kevin.

The backpacks weren't the only signs of suspicious activity. Sarah French of WHDH 7News took a video of a man wearing a backpack, walking down the street while yelling "Boston Strong!" French said the man wore "black netting" and had no shoes on. It's unknown if the backpacks and the man are related incidents. (See updates below)

A bomb squad was called in to inspect the backpacks.

The Boston police announced the closing of Boylston Street, along with the temporary suspension of Green Line service.

Update: One witness in WCVB's report says the man in the netting—with makeup on his face—dropped off one of the backpacks. The report also says that one person is in custody at the Boston Library.

Update #2: The Boston Police Department says that they have a male suspect in custody in connection with the backpacks.

Update #3: According to Alicia Anskis, the woman who recorded this video, the man yelling "Boston Strong!" was arrested.

Update #4: Here's a photo of the man in custody, via NECN's Kathryn Sotnik:

Update #5: The bomb squad has detonated one backpack, according to NECN. To clarify, the controlled detonation doesn't mean the backpack necessarily had explosives in it. The contents of the backpack are still unknown.

Update #6: The second backpack has been detonated in a controlled explosion. Again, it's not clear if the backpack had anything dangerous inside of it.

Update #7: Via Boston.com, here's a third, longer video of the suspect.

Update #8: According to sources that spoke with CBS Boston, one backpack contained a rice cooker filled with confetti. The other backpack contained photo equipment.

Top photo via Scott Sullivan