BOSTON (AP) - Police have stepped up patrols near the Boston Marathon finish line, a day after a masked man walked in the street with a rice cooker in his backpack.
The man was arrested just hours after the city marked yesterday's anniversary of last year's deadly bombing.
Today, Kayvon Edson was in court, arraigned on charges including possession of a hoax device. A judge ordered him to be evaluated at a state psychiatric hospital. According to a police report that was read in court, Edson said the cooker was "symbolism," and added, "The performance got the best of me." His mother says Edson has battled bipolar disorder for many years, and that his mental state has deteriorated.
Authorities don't consider the episode to be a security breach. And they're expressing confidence in the heightened security measures for Monday's marathon -- while acknowledging the challenge of protecting an estimated one million spectators and 36,000 runners across the 26.2-mile course in eight communities.
Security plans include thousands of uniformed police, hundreds of plainclothes officers and about 100 strategically-positioned video cameras that will monitor the crowds.
Police are strongly discouraging spectators from bringing backpacks.
Police, fire and bomb squad crews investigating several unattended backpacks blocked off a city street Tuesday night near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on the anniversary of the bombing that killed three people at the famous race, authorities told NBC News.
As police tape ringed the rainy block and a remote-controlled robot examined one of the backpacks, a loud explosion was heard about 8:53 p.m. ET after a commander yelled, "Fire in the hole!" — a signal commonly used by bomb squads to clear the area before a controlled detonation.
Boston police said on Twitter that a man was in custody in connection with the backpacks. They gave no further details, but witnesses told Northeast Cable News that they saw a man being put in the back of a police cruiser wearing all black with a veil covering his face.
A senior police official told NBC News that the man ran onto Boylston street and threw several backpacks to the ground. Because of the high police presence in the area for the marathon bombing anniversary, the man was captured quickly, the official said.
Boylston Street was closed and the Green Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was suspended, authorities said. Boston police asked all pedestrians and motorists to avoid the area.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he was aware of the report and was "hoping it's nothing serious."
Tuesday is the anniversary of the bombings at the marathon last year, which killed three people and injured about 260 others. A ceremony at Old South Church on Boylston Street went ahead as planned Tuesday night.
Police say they've taken a man into custody in connection with two unattended backpacks found at the Boston Marathon finish line.
Police spokesman Dave Estrada says the backpacks were discovered Tuesday evening, a year after two bombs in backpacks exploded at the end of the marathon and killed three people.
The bomb squad is checking the backpacks found Tuesday. Police have cleared the area. Trains are bypassing the nearby Copley Square station. The police department has tweeted asking people to avoid the area.
Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in last year's Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes. Former Mayor Thomas Menino spoke at the nearby Hynes Convention Center.