Art Student’s Bomb Threat Fails to Prevent Boston Marathon

A disturbed student has been arrested for bomb threat performance art.

Kevin Edson’s mug shot. Photo: courtesy Suffolk County D.A.
Kevin Edson’s mug shot. Photo: courtesy Suffolk County D.A.

The 118th Boston Marathon went off without a hitch today, despite a scarily-misguided bit of performance art from a local art student. Last week, following memorial services at the site of the 2013 bombings, 25-year old Kevin Edson (who styles himself as “Kayvon” on Facebook), brought a rice cooker filled with confetti to the race’s finish line, as reported by Back Bay Patch.

One year after terrorist bombs killed three and injured an estimated 264 people, Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win the event in 31 years, finishing the race in a personal best of 2:08:37. Tightened security measures at this year’s race included banning backpacks, strollers, suitcases, and other large items, and erecting additional barriers between runners and spectators.

Edson, meanwhile, has been suspended from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, possession of a hoax device, and making a false bomb threat. With bail set at $100,000, he faces five to 20 years in prison if found guilty, according to CBS Boston.

Barefoot, wearing a black veil over blue-and-yellow face paint, Edson staggered down the street on April 15 yelling “Boston strong!” Unsurprisingly, this so-called performance art attracted the police’s attention. He told them about the rice cooker (similar to the pressure cooking devices that facilitated last year’s attacks), and was promptly arrested. Police evacuated the area, called the bomb squad, and suspended bus and subway service.

Kevin Edson's disturbing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fan art.

Kevin Edson’s disturbing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fan art.

Edson’s personal website includes several low-quality, would-be memes praising baby-faced bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s good looks, reports Deadspin. (The teenage terrorist landed on the cover of Rolling Stone last year.) The fan art’s disturbing slogans include “Sexy Until Proven Innocent” and “Had a blast at the marathon!!! Y U Stalin 2 Call Me????????” Edson also maintains a YouTube channel. As reported by Mass Live, Edson’s family has released a statement that claims that the art student suffers from bipolar disorder.

Suffolk County district attorney Dan Conley released a statement condemning Edson’s actions, saying “if this was a performance, it was the most irresponsible, senseless, and selfish performance I can imagine” and likening it to shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and the race was a success.

Other artistic tributes to last year’s tragedy, such as an exhibition of the spontaneous memorial of sneakers and posters that mourners created at the finish line (see artnet News report), have been less frightening.

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