Illuminated electronic devices spread panic in Boston

Several illuminated electronic devices planted at bridges and other spots threw a scare into Boston, briefly disrupting traffic and subway service, in what turned out to be a publicity campaign for a late-night cable television cartoon. Most of the devices depict a character making an obscene gesture.

Peter Berdovsky, 27, of Arlington, and Sean Stevens, 28, of Charlestown, were each arrested Wednesday night on one felony charge of placing a hoax device and one charge of disorderly conduct, state Attorney General Martha Coakley said.

In a news release announcing Stevens' arrest, she said the men worked together to place the devices. At an earlier news conference she said Berdovsky had been hired to place the devices, the AP reports.

Highways, bridges and a section of the Charles River were shut down and bomb squads were sent in Wednesday before authorities declared the devices were harmless.

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