Man taken hostage after marathon blasts speaks of his terror

Boston car-jack victim tells how he escaped the Tsarnaev brothers after a 90-minute ordeal

New York

Hours after police released photographs of the Boston marathon bombing suspects, a 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur pulled his Mercedes SUV over to the side of the road in suburban Boston, across the Charles river from Cambridge, to answer a text message.

The next 90 minutes were to be the most harrowing of his life, as he was taken hostage by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the two brothers seeking to escape the dragnet that covered the whole city.

The car-jacking victim, who asked to be referred to as “Danny”, has spoken for the first time about his ordeal, revealing how the brothers discussed girls, whether anyone still listened to CDs, payments on the stolen car and driving to New York as the FBI searched for them.

It was nearly 11 pm, soon after Sean Collier, an MIT campus police officer, was shot in his car. Only hours earlier, officials had released images showing the brothers at the site of the bombings. They had not been named when an old sedan stopped behind Danny’s SUV and 26-year-old Tamerlan came up to the passenger window. When Danny lowered the window, the suspect reached inside, unlocked the door and climbed in. He was carrying a handgun and told Danny: “Don’t be stupid.” He asked if he had heard about the bombings, and then said: “I did that … And I just killed a policeman in Cambridge.”

The suspect asked Danny how much cash he had. When he found it was a mere $45, he told him to drive. Dzhokhar, 19, followed in the sedan.

Speaking to The Boston Globe, Danny said they crossed the Charles and pulled up on a side street in the suburb of Watertown, where the brothers moved heavy objects from the sedan to the Mercedes. When they began driving again, Tamerlan was behind the wheel, with Danny in the passenger seat and Dzhokhar behind him. The hostage attempted to play down his wealth, telling Tamerlan that he was just a student from China who had been there for around a year, and understating the payments on his car. “Oh, that’s why your English is not very good,” Tamerlan said at one point. “OK, you’re Chinese… I’m a Muslim.”

The car stopped again so that Dzhokhar could withdraw money from an ATM. He heard the brothers – immigrants of Chechen origin – converse in a foreign language. Danny heard the word “Manhattan” before he was asked whether his car could be driven to New York.

They drove around the area, leaving Watertown, and Tamerlan asked Danny to switch on the radio. The suspect went through the stations and seemed to be avoiding the news.

He asked if Danny had any CDs, which he hadn’t. They returned to the parked sedan in Watertown and grabbed some things, putting on an instrumental CD in Danny’s car that sounded to him like a call to prayer, according to The Globe.

Once, when Danny’s phone rang, Tamerlan said: “If you say a single word in Chinese, I will kill you right now.” The carjack victim’s chance to escape finally came when the brothers were forced to stop at a filling station in Cambridge because the SUV was running low on fuel. When Dzhokhar headed inside to pay with cash, Danny jumped out before Tamerlan could respond. He ran across to another petrol station, where the attendant dialled 911. Police arrived within minutes, and were soon on the tail of the suspects, who could be tracked using Danny’s iPhone and a satellite system in the SUV.

Tamerlan was killed shortly afterwards. Dzhokhar was captured on Friday night and has since been charged with crimes that could carry the death penalty.

Tsarnaev sent to medical detention site

The surviving Boston Marathon bombings suspect was released today from a civilian hospital and transferred to a federal medical detention centre.

The US Marshals Service said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center overnight and was taken to the Federal Medical Center Devens about 40 miles west of Boston.

The facility, on the decommissioned Fort Devens US Army base, treats federal prisoners and detainees who require specialised long-term medical or mental health care. Tsarnaev, 19, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the throat, and other injuries suffered during his attempted getaway.

Tsarnaev and his brother had planned to  blow up the rest of their explosives in Times Square, New York, authorities said.

AP

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker