Source AP ©

Men plead guilty in Cartoon Network trick

Two men who planted electronic devices in a botched television promotion that caused a bomb scare that briefly paralyzed Boston apologized Friday and performed community service to resolve the criminal charges.

Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, said they never expected the stunt to cause any turmoil.

"I deeply regret that this incident caused such anguish and disruption to so many people," Berdovsky told the Charlestown District Court.

Stevens said he saw the devices simply as "harmless entertainment."

"I had no intention of upsetting or alarming anyone," he said.

The two were accused of planting about three dozen battery-powered devices in Boston and Cambridge on Jan. 31. The devices, a promotion for Cartoon Network, had lights that created images of a cartoon character making an obscene gesture.

Fears of terrorism arose when the devices were discovered in a subway station and on a bridge, among other locations. Bomb squads were deployed, and highways, bridges and some transit stations were temporarily closed.

Similar signs were placed in nine other cities around the United States, but only in Boston did they elicit such a response.

Berdovsky and Stevens were charged with placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct.

In exchange for the community service and public apology, prosecutors agreed not to pursue the criminal case.

Both left the courthouse without commenting, and their lawyers declined to answer questions.

Berdovsky performed 80 hours of service and Stevens completed 60 hours at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Boston.

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