AP Image - Boston 4/15/13
(USA TODAY) - In a gripping interview in The Boston Globe, the owner of the Mercedes SUV that was hijacked by the Boston bombing suspects recalls his harrowing 90-minute ride and his escape by jumping from the vehicle at a filling station.
His quick thinking thwarted the suspects' apparent plan to drive to New York City to set off more bombs and, instead, triggered a police shootout that led to the capture of one suspect and the death of the other.
Globe reporter Eric Moskowiz interviewed the 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur, who asked to be identified only as Danny.
In a lengthy interview, Danny says he had mentally rehearsed jumping from the car, and finally got his moment when the suspects had to stop at a Shell filling station in Cambridge to get gas.
"I was thinking I must do two things: unfasten my seat belt and open the door and jump out as quick as I can. If I didn't make it, he would kill me right out, he would kill me right away," Danny said. "I just did it. I did it very fast, using my left hand and right hand simultaneously to open the door, unfasten my seat belt, jump out ... and go." Danny sprinted between the passenger side of the Mercedes and the pumps and darted into the street, not looking back, drawn to the Mobil station's lights. "I didn't know if it was open or not," he said. "In that moment, I prayed.Danny's call to 911 eventually led to a shootout with the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar. Tamerlan died from injuries suffered during the firefight and Dzhokhar, badly injured, fled in a second car. He was later captured while hiding in a boat in the backyard of a Watertown, Mass., home.
Dzhokhar, who has been charged in connection with the April 15 bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260, has told investigators about the carjacking and the suspects' intentions to drive to New York City to detonate their remaining explosive devices. They abandoned those plans after "Danny" escaped.
The newspaper described Danny as an engineer who got his master's degree in the United States in 2009, then returned to China to await a work visa. He came back two months ago to begin a startup venture in Cambridge's Kendall Square. He also leased the now infamous Mercedes SUV.