Man Charged With Hoax Over Boston Backpacks

He dropped bag with rice cooker near finish line

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 15, 2014 7:58 PM CDT | Updated Apr 15, 2014 8:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – The one-year anniversary of the Boston bombings isn't passing without a police scare. Authorities say they have taken a man into custody over two backpacks found near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where two pressure-cooker bombs exploded a year ago. One backpack contained a rice cooker, and the man has been charged with disorderly conduct and possession of a hoax device. Police detonated one bag about 9pm and the second about 40 minutes later, reports the Globe.

Police haven't released the man's identity or said what was in the second backpack, the AP reports. WBZ-TV quotes witnesses who say he "was barefoot, wearing a long black veil and was acting strange." He also was apparently chanting, "Boston strong" over and over as he walked down Boylston Street, reports the Boston Herald. The marathon runs on Monday, and police kept people away from the finish line area for around three hours while the incident was investigated. "With the marathon coming, our officers are taking it seriously," a police spokesman says. "The safety of the public is utmost."

A police officer and his dog patrol Boylston Street near the Boston Marathon finish line Tuesday.
A police officer and his dog patrol Boylston Street near the Boston Marathon finish line Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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