Defendant in Boston marketing stunt scare videotaped police response, attorney says

Wednesday, February 7th 2007, 6:08 am
By: News On 6

BOSTON (AP) _ One of the men criminally charged after placing blinking cartoon advertisements around the city videotaped a police bomb squad removing one of the electronic devices, but did not tell the officers the object was harmless.

Surveillance cameras caught 27-year-old Peter Berdovsky videotaping officers removing what they thought was a possible bomb.

His lawyer, Walter Prince, said Tuesday: ``Mr. Berdovsky didn't do anything inappropriate.''

Prince said Berdovsky had received a call that morning from a friend who told him there was a bomb threat at the Sullivan Square transit station in Boston. He said Berdovsky grabbed his camera and headed out to the scene, unaware it involved one of the electronic devices that he and Sean Stevens, 28, had hung as part of a guerrilla advertising campaign for Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner Inc.

``That's what he does. He videotapes things. He's a videotape freelance artist. He got a call that there was a bomb threat near his house and he went to tape it,'' Prince said. ``When he got there, he realized what was going on, and he went back to his apartment and called his employer, and they told him they would take care of it. That's not an inappropriate response.''

Stevens was with Berdovsky at the time, according to the Boston Herald. Stevens' attorney, Michael Rich, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Martha Coakley, who is prosecuting Berdovsky and Stevens on charges of placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct, also declined to comment, citing the criminal case.

Berdovsky and Stevens have pleaded not guilty. Their next court date is March 7.

Turner Broadcasting and the advertising agency that carried out the campaign, Interference Inc. have agreed to pay $2 million to cover costs and restitution for the massive police response on Jan. 31 that shut down highways and bridges and snarled traffic.

More than three dozen of the devices advertising the ``Aqua Teen Hunger Force'' cartoon were found in the city.