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Man arraigned in Boston bomb hoax

BOSTON -- The man arrested near the Boston Marathon finish line carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker was sent to a state psychiatric facility for an evaluation Wednesday after an initial court appearance.

Kevin "Kayvon'' Edson, 25, was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital and ordered held on $100,000 bail at an appearance in Boston Municipal Court on charges of threatening battery, possession of a hoax explosive device, threats to commit a crime, disturbing the peace, disturbing a public assembly and disorderly conduct. He's due back in court May 7.

Edson was arrested Tuesday hours after ceremonies to mark last year's Boston Marathon bombings, in which two pressure cooker bombs hidden in backpacks exploded, killing three people near the finish line and injuring more than 260 others.

The backpack incident rattled nerves days ahead of this year's marathon. Police kept people away from the finish line area for about three hours Tuesday and trains bypassed the nearby Copley Square station.

Edson, with addresses in Boston and Wakefield, was stopped late Tuesday after passers-by told an officer they saw him yelling, walking barefoot down the middle of a street, veiled in black, in pouring rain. His face was painted yellow and blue, the traditional colors of the marathon, police said. The street was open to pedestrians at the time, and police said his presence was not a security breach.

The backpack was destroyed. Police determined that its contents were not explosive.

According to a police report read aloud in court, after Edson was read his rights, he 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.''

In a statement, his family said, "Our family is so sorry and emotionally overwhelmed by the events at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday. To have this happen on the one-year anniversary of such a horrific crime is unfathomable.''

Edson's mother, Joie Edson, said her son has battled bipolar disorder for many years and his mental state has recently deteriorated.

A second suspicious backpack also was found Tuesday. Officers determined it had been left behind by a media outlet and was not dangerous, but it too was destroyed.

"With the marathon coming, our officers are taking it seriously,'' police Superintendent Randall Halstead said. "The safety of the public is utmost.''

Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans said he was "troubled" by Tuesday night's incident, but said there was no reason for anxiety to be heightened in the lead-up to Monday's running of the Boston Marathon.

"Runners should be very confident coming to this race that it's going to be safe and secure," he said.

Evans said that Boylston Street, where the finish line is located and where twin bombs killed three people and injured more than 260 others last year, was not in lockdown when Edson walked down the street barefoot in the pouring rain, wearing a black veil and paint on his face. Along with the rice cooker, a robot mask was also found in the backpack, officials said.

"That individual, like anyone, had the right to basically walk up the street,'' Evans said. Because he was acting suspiciously, however, police quickly intervened, he said.

Joie Edson said her son had battled bipolar disorder for many years and that his mental state had recently deteriorated. His lawyer, public defender Shannon Lopez, said he was diagnosed with mental illness at 19 and that a doctor said Edson showed signs of being off his medication recently.

The finish line will not be closed to the public until the morning of the race, Evans said, but police planned to increase visibility in the area over the next several days.

The bombs at last year's marathon were made from pressure cookers hidden in backpacks, authorities said. Lawyers for the surviving bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were in federal court on Wednesday arguing that the government should not be allowed to monitor prison visits from the defendant's two sisters.

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Scott Barboza and The Associated Press was used in this report.