Boston carjacking victim shares his story

10:08 PM, Apr 26, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- He is one of the last people to see Boston bombing suspect Tamarlan Tsarnaev alive, and he's now telling his story of how the two brothers carjacked him the night before younger brother Dzokhar was taken into custody. 

This 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur told his story to Boston Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz, under the condition he is only referred to by his American nickname, Danny. 

The story starts off with Danny pulling over his Mercedes on a Boston street to answer a text. Moskowitz says, "They pull up immediately behind him, the older brother gets out, wraps on the window. Tamerlan sticks his hand in the window, opens it, and pulls a gun on him." 

What follows is a 90 minute wild carjacking ride. Tamarlan warns Danny, "Don't be stupid." He asks the Danny if he heard about the Boston Marathon bombings. When Danny says yes, Tamarlan confides, "I did that. And I just killed a policeman in Cambridge."

Moskowitz explains, "Partly they're driving with him, the other brother is following behind, they consolidate what Danny thinks is luggage, but it's the bombs from their car to his car and they drive around for 90 minutes constantly threatening him." 

At one point, Tamarlan drives, Danny sits in the passenger seat, and Dzokhar rides in the back. Moskowitz says Danny told him the three talk about ordinary things, girls, cars, and iPhones, amidst the extraordinary context. Danny overhears the two talk about Manhattan. 

At one point, Danny's roommate texts him, and Tamarlan, using an English to Chinese app, texts back "I'm sick, I'm not coming home tonight, I'm with a friend." It must have sounded suspicious.

Moskowitz picks up the story again, "There's another text, then a call, they don't answer it, there's silence in Danny's car, they call again, Tamerlan says 'you answer it, if you say a word in Chinese....I'll kill you." 

The whole time, Danny, a trained engineer, is methodically making mental notes, and planning an escape. Two things combine to create the perfect window: a low gas tank and a "cash only" policy at a nearby Shell station. 

Moskowitz explains, "The younger brother has to go in to pay with cash. That leaves Danny alone with Tamarlan. Think about it, Tamarlan has been on the run all day, he's killed an MIT police officer five hours earlier, he puts his guard down for a second and puts the gun in the driver's side pocket of Danny's SUV, and he's got both hands fiddling with the GPS and Danny realizes if I get out, now is the chance."

Danny tells Moskowitz he rehearsed it in his head then, unbuckled the seat belt with one hand, while opening the door with the other. It took one moment for Tamarlan to realize what was happening. Moskowitz says, "He tries to reach for him, can't get him, hears him curse, sprints across the street to safety at another gas station, calls 9-1-1."

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