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

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
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

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

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
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?