A gas station’s policy of “cash only” helped the Boston bombers’ carjacking victim to escape, he told the Boston Globe in an extensive interview published on Friday. It was the quick action of the 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur, and the tracking devices on his iPhone and Mercedes, that allowed the police to locate and confront the alleged terrorists. “I don’t feel like a hero. … I was trying to save myself,” he told the Globe. He’s still afraid and didn’t want his real name to be used. The paper referred to him as Danny.
Among his insights:
- It was the elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who brandished a gun and boasted of the Marathon bombings and killing a “policeman in Cambridge.”
- For part of the time, the brothers talked in a foreign language. The only word Danny understood was “Manhattan.” They asked him whether his car could be driven out of state. “Like New York,” one said. (New York City authorities announced Thursday that the brothers had hatched an impromptu plan in the Mercedes to set off their remaining bombs in Times Square.)
- Tamerlan wasn’t a techie. While they were riding around, he couldn’t figure out the radio controls. He had to ask Danny how the radio worked. And he just had to fiddle with the navigation system when they stopped for gas. While his younger brother went inside to pay with cash, Tamerlan put his gun down to play with the navigation. Danny saw his chance and ran.
ABC News talked to the cashier at the Mobil station across the street who helped hide Danny and called 911.