The Boston Globe just nabbed a jaw-dropping exclusive. A man who says he was carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers is now telling the harrowing story of his 90-minute ordeal with the alleged Boston bombers. He gave his name as "Danny," reluctant to give his real name because, as he puts it, "I don't want to be a famous person talking on the TV ... I don't feel like a hero ... I was trying to save myself."
Danny came from China to Boston in 2009 as a student and stayed to work on a start-up. He played on his outsider status as an immigrant to win sympathy from the brothers. It may have saved his life, but it made for some strange conversations. The whole ordeal was filled with bizarre moments.
1. Tamerlan told Danny he was the bomber. Tamerlan asked Danny if he'd heard about the Boston bombings. "I did that," the man Danny identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev said. "And I just killed a policeman in Cambridge." GOD! How did he keep his cool after that? At that point you'd probably just assume you're going to die very, very soon. But thank goodness that's not what happened.
2. All white guys look the same to you, right? Danny says he was ordered not to look at his captor's face. Tsarnaev asked Danny if he remembered what he looked like, and of course Danny said no. Tamerlan laughed. "It’s like white guys, they look at black guys and think all black guys look the same,” he said. “And maybe you think all white guys look the same.” Poor Danny. Of course he agreed because he likes being alive.
3. Chinese people love Muslims, really. Tamerlan told Danny his English wasn't very good, and then pointed out that he was a Muslim. Danny jumped on the chance to prove he was not a threat: "Chinese are very friendly to Muslims! We are so friendly to Muslims."
4. Yup, definitely planning an attack in NYC. Danny recalls that the brothers had a conversation in another language, and all he could make out was the word "Manhattan." They asked Danny if his car could be driven someplace out of state, "Like New York." Chills. As we recently discovered, the brothers were apparently planning a second attack at Times Square in Manhattan.
5. "If you say a single word in Chinese, I'll kill you now." Danny got a text from his roommate, wondering where he was. Tamerlan used an English-to-Chinese app to type out a reply, "I am sick. I am sleeping in a friend’s place tonight". When Danny's roommate called, Tamerlan threatened to kill him if he spoke Chinese. "I’m sleeping in my friend’s home tonight,” Danny told his roommate in English. “I have to go.”
6. Danny was thinking about a girl the whole time. There's a girl in New York Danny has a secret crush on. "I think, 'Oh my god, I have no chance to meet you again.'" Later, when Danny heard that Dzhokhar had been captured, he happened to be talking on the phone with that girl in New York. I hope he told her how he really feels about her. You just never know how much time you have.
Do you think things would have turned out differently if Danny had not been a recent immigrant?
Image via Besart I./Flickr