electronic sign
John Bazemore  /  AP
Blinking electronic signs like this one sparked a massive police response in Boston.
updated 2/6/2007 1:18:33 PM ET 2007-02-06T18:18:33

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 Peter Berdovsky, 27, 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,” Prince said. “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. 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.”

Turner Broadcasting Systems and 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.

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

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

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